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SBA Disaster Assistance Loans Key to Continuing Recovery Process

Release date: 
October 16, 2018
Release Number: 
NR 11

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Disaster survivors in South Carolina applying for assistance with FEMA who are referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are encouraged to submit the application for a low-interest disaster loan. The deadline for applying for an SBA loan is Nov. 20, 2018. 

Next to insurance, an SBA low-interest disaster loan is the primary source of funds for real estate property repairs and for replacing contents destroyed as related to Hurricane Florence.

  • Survivors who register with FEMA may be referred to the SBA. Those referred to the SBA should complete a loan application as soon as possible as this will ensure all eligible assistance under FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program is provided.
  • Homeowners and renters who submit an SBA application and are not approved for a loan may be considered for certain other FEMA assistance for disaster-caused car repairs, clothing loss, essential household items and other expenses.
  • Survivors don’t have to accept the loan.
  • Survivors can submit SBA disaster loan applications in several ways: online at; at any Disaster Recovery Center; or any SBA Business Recovery Centers (BRC); or by mail.
  • SBA Business Recovery Centers (BRCs) help businesses get back on their feet from damage they sustained during the storms. The BRCs are a resource where businesses can meet face-to-face with SBA representatives.  Survivors may locate open BRCs near them by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, (Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339) or emailing
  • To find recovery center locations, visit Survivors also may call the Disaster Assistance Helpline at 800-621-3362, (TTY) 800-462-7585 for assistance. Helpline numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available. Disaster Recovery Center information also is available on the FEMA App.
  • SBA has staff at all recovery centers to provide one-on-one assistance to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes.
  • Do not wait for an insurance settlement before submitting an SBA loan application. The loan balance will be reduced by any insurance settlement. SBA loans may be available for losses not covered by insurance or other sources.
  • FEMA’s Housing Assistance and assistance for medical, dental, funeral and burial expenses, available under the Other Needs Assistance Provision, do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA for a possible referral for further assistance consideration for personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.
  • Homeowners may be eligible for SBA home disaster loans up to $200,000 for primary residence structural repairs or rebuilding.
  • An SBA loan may help fund repair of a flooded basement that FEMA does not cover. The assistance FEMA provides homeowners to repair flood-damaged real property in basements is limited to items that support the overall function of the home (e.g., furnace, water heater or pump).
  • SBA may be able to help homeowners and renters with up to $40,000 to replace important personal items, including automobiles damaged or destroyed in the disaster.
  • SBA also can help businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations with up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and other business assets. Eligible small businesses and nonprofits can apply for economic injury disaster loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. The deadline for applying for a physical property damage loan is Nov. 20, 2018. The deadline for applying for an economic injury disaster loan is June 21, 2019.
  • Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damage, as verified by the SBA, for mitigation purposes.  Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
  • If you have not registered with FEMA:
    • You can register online at, or by telephone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585.
    • If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services, you should call 800-621-3362.
    • Operators are multilingual, and calls are answered from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time seven days a week.

For more information on Hurricane Florence and the South Carolina recovery, visit the S.C. Emergency Management Division website at, on social media (@SCEMD on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram), or FEMA’s Hurricane Florence disaster webpage at, or Facebook at, and the FEMA Region 4 Twitter account at

Last Updated: 
October 16, 2018 - 11:44