After a disaster, some survivors find that a FEMA grant and their insurance settlement, if they are insured, do not give them all the funds they need to restore their home to its pre-disaster condition. Low interest, long-term disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration help homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and some nonprofit organizations recover.
- SBA loans are not just for businesses. They are the largest source of federal disaster recovery funds for individuals and families as well. SBA loans hold many benefits for South Carolina survivors of Hurricane Ian who apply for FEMA disaster assistance.
- Submitting an SBA loan application is a necessary step to being considered for other forms of disaster assistance.
- The opportunity to apply for an SBA loan is part of the process of submitting an application for federal disaster assistance for residents of Charleston, Georgetown and Horry counties. After you apply with FEMA, you may receive a letter referring you to SBA. Even if you think you won’t qualify for a loan, you are encouraged to complete the loan application and return it to SBA.
- You are not obligated to accept the loan. If you’re turned down for a loan or receive a loan that won’t cover your needs, you may be referred back to FEMA for additional assistance. If you choose not to accept the loan, those additional resources may not be available to you.
- FEMA may be able to compensate you for necessities such as disaster-related car repairs, essential household items and other serious disaster-related expenses.
- Homeowners and renters are required to submit copies of insurance settlements because FEMA will not pay for expenses already covered by insurance or other sources such as crowd funding or financial assistance from voluntary agencies. FEMA considers that practice “duplicating benefits.”
How to apply for an SBA loan
- You may apply online using SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/.
- Request a paper application to apply by U.S. mail by calling SBA’s customer service line at 800-659-2955.
- You may also email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or call 800-659-2955 for application assistance and for more information on the SBA disaster assistance program. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call 800-877-8339.
Who can apply for an SBA loan
- Homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations that were affected by Hurricane Ian may apply for an SBA loan.
- Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 from SBA to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or working capital.
- The deadline for homeowners and renters to return SBA applications for property damage is Jan. 20, 2023.
- The SBA deadline for businesses to return economic injury applications is Aug. 21, 2023.
- SBA has opened a Business Recovery Center to assist homeowners, renters and business owners in Charleston, Georgetown and Horry counties with their loan applications. It is located at:
- Georgetown County: Litchfield Exchange, 14361 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island, SC 29585; hours of operation: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Closed Sundays.
- Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following neighboring counties may apply only for SBA economic injury disaster loans: Berkeley, Colleton, Dillon, Dorchester, Marion and Williamsburg in South Carolina; and Brunswick, Columbus and Robeson in North Carolina.
To be considered for federal disaster assistance
- Apply to FEMA by visiting DisasterAssistance.gov;
- Use the FEMA mobile app; or
- Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. If you use video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service. Helpline operators are available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Press 2 for Spanish. Press 3 for an interpreter who speaks your language.
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FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.