July 26, 2021

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SBA offers disaster assistance to businesses and residents affected by Tropical Storm Isaías

The presidential disaster declaration applies to several municipalities in Puerto Rico

Photo Daileen Rodríguez

Washington – SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza declared on Monday that after the announcement of the presidential disaster declaration for several municipalities in Puerto Rico affected by Tropical Storm Isaías from July 29 to 31, 2020, businesses and residents in the declared area can now apply for low-interest disaster loans from the US Small Business Administration.

“The SBA is firmly committed to providing the residents of Puerto Rico with the most effective response possible to assist businesses, homeowners, and renters with federal disaster loans. Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority, ”Carranza said in written communication.

The disaster declaration covers the municipalities of Aguada, Hormigueros, Mayagüez and Rincón, which are eligible to receive disaster loans for physical and economic damages from the SBA.

Small businesses and most private non-profit organizations in the following adjacent municipalities are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Damage Disaster Loans: Aguadilla, Añasco, Cabo Rojo, Las Marías, Maricao, Moca, and San Germán .

In accordance with the health precautions for COVID-19, the SBA will not establish a presence in the field to assist survivors.

However, the SBA will continue to provide customer service and will conduct outreach activities virtually with webinars, Skype calls, phone support, and step-by-step application assistance.

The SBA has opened a Virtual Disaster Loan Assistance Center / Business Recovery Center to help survivors apply online using the Electronic Loan Application through the SBA secure website at https://DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov/.

Virtual Customer Service Representatives are available to help applicants complete the online application during these hours: Virtual Disaster Loan Assistance Center / Business Recovery Center (VDLOC / VBRC) Open: Daily Hours : 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. [email protected]

Phone: (800) 659-2955.

These services are only available for Puerto Rico’s disaster declaration as a result of Tropical Storm Isaías on July 29-31, 2020 and not for assistance related to COVID-19.

Survivors should contact the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) -659-2955 to schedule an appointment to complete their loan applications.

Requests for information on the SBA disaster loan program can be obtained by email [email protected].

The SBA will conduct extensive outreach to ensure that everyone affected by the disaster has the opportunity to request assistance.

Businesses and private nonprofits of any size can borrow up to $ 2 million to repair or replace real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets damaged or destroyed by the disaster.

Applicants may be entitled to a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes.

Eligible mitigation improvements can include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain, or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses, and most private nonprofits, the SBA offers economic damage disaster loans to help meet working capital needs. caused by the disaster.

Disaster Economic Damage Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Disaster loans of up to $ 200,000 are available for homeowners to repair or replace real property damaged or destroyed by the disaster.

Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $ 40,000 to repair or replace personal property damaged or destroyed by the disaster.

Interest rates are as low as 3 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for nonprofits, and 1.25 percent for homeowners and renters with terms of up to 30 years.

The amount and terms of the loan are established by the SBA and are based on the financial situation of each applicant.

Applicants can apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) through the SBA’s secure website at https://DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov/.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants must register on the DisasterAssistance.gov website or download the FEMA mobile app.

If internet or mobile access is not available, applicants should call FEMA’s toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362.

People using the 711 service or the video link service should call 800-621-3362.

Businesses and individuals can also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), or by sending an email to [email protected]

Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov.

Completed applications should be mailed to: US Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The deadline for submitting applications for damage to physical property is November 9, 2020. The deadline for returning applications for economic damage is June 9, 2021.

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