Small businesses can get financial assistance after Hurricane Michael

Small businesses can get financial assistance after Hurricane Michael
A roof blown off a building after Hurricane Michael.

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - You can apply for up to $2 million in loans if your business was damaged by Hurricane Michael. But you need to apply as soon as possible.

Many businesses were closed for several days, even up to weeks after Michael and business owners are taking a financial hit.

The Small Business Administration is urging you to apply for loans and assistance now.

Small business owners are reeling from Hurricane Michael after it tore through the region.

“When I went through our mobile home parks, and I saw trees crushed through houses, you know broken all the way down, it was devastating,” said Representative Darrel Ealum.

Ealum also owns Ealum Estates, and he said after the storm, he and his family had no choice but to head out to the mobile home park and physically move trees and limbs from the trailers.

“My son and I, we immediately grabbed our chainsaws, we grabbed our trucks, our skid steers and we went out there and started helping people,” explained Ealum.

But families and business owners need more than just the physical help, they need financial assistance.

“At the state level, we realize that we in Southwest Georgia have had tremendous damage, so something is going to be done,” Ealum said.

Now, the Small Business Administration is offering millions in loans to small businesses, farming and non-farming related.

“We know that due to the crop damage in this area, that can definitely impact businesses in the long run,” said Tonesa Jones, the SBA public affairs specialist.

Which is why SBA representatives are encouraging you to apply for assistance now.

“So what SBA has available is working capital loans for up to two million at a rate of 3.75,” said Jones.

The SBA loans are here to help if your business lost power for days, or if your crops were completely destroyed. The goal is to help you recover financially, as thousands were hit incredibly hard by the unprecedented natural disaster.

“And they have no obligation to accept the loan, but it’s also great to apply just to have that financial resource available,” Jones explained.

You can apply online here, in person at a Disaster Recovery Center or by phone, by calling 1-800-659-2955.

Below are some program highlights:

  • Homeowners and renters that apply for an SBA disaster home loan and are declined, will be referred to FEMA for grant consideration.
  • Businesses and residents can borrow up to $25,000 without a lien on their property.
  • SBA is deferring the first payment due on Hurricane Michael disaster loans, so that businesses and residents can make repairs and replacements before payments begin.
  • Farm related business owners and non-farm related businesses should apply for SBA disaster loans for their physical damages and working capital losses

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