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SBA to help Fla. businesses hurt by water releases

ATLANTA – April 11, 2016 – Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and private nonprofits in Florida that suffered financial losses as the result of excessive rain; flooding and water released from Lake Okeechobee that occurred on Jan. 3-29, 2016, may apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says the announcement followed a hearing in which he questioned the SBA on its progress in providing assistance to businesses damaged by Lake Okeechobee flooding and discharges.
At the hearing, Deputy SBA Administrator Douglas Kramer responded to Rubio’s question by stating that he was aware of the disaster declaration, but that alone wasn’t enough to trigger assistance from the SBA. However, he said he would need to confirm that.
Rubio says he received an email following the hearing in which SBA officials said: “After a careful review, SBA has concluded that businesses affected by the water released from Lake Okeechobee are eligible to apply under SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) declaration FL 14671.”
The following Florida counties are eligible for loan assistance: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk, St. Lucie and Sarasota.
The low-interest SBA loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred, but the loans aren’t intended to replace lost sales or profits.
The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 4 percent for small businesses, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at
Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to
Loan applications can be downloaded from Completed applications should be mailed to:
U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Road
Fort Worth, TX 76155
Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than Nov. 16, 2016.
© 2016 Florida Realtors®
Source: Florida Realtors Feed

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