|NEW ORLEANS — Today, the City of New Orleans announced additional federal resources coming online for residents and business owners affected by Hurricane Ida. As a result of President Joe Biden’s major disaster declaration, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) activated Virtual Recovery Centers on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021.
The White House disaster declaration includes Orleans Parish and six municipalities that sustained substantial damages due to the impact of the storm, and authorized federal agencies to supplement local recovery efforts. The declaration also makes low-interest federal disaster loans available to eligible applicants.
“We are truly appreciative for President Joe Biden’s swift disaster declaration which allows for the provision of resources available for our residents, small businesses, and nonprofits,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “Though insurance is the first line of defense for damage and loss incurred by the storm, the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans can be used to cover losses not fully compensated, or while anticipating insurance claim approvals. This will help get our businesses back up and running sooner rather than later.”
The Virtual Recovery Centers will operate Monday through Sunday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. central standard time. Customer service representatives will be on hand at each center to provide business owners with application assistance. SBA will also open a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center to assist homeowners and renters, provide answers to questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, and explain and assist with electronic loan applications.
Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations can borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations of any size meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available to businesses regardless of any property damage.
Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Interest rates can be as low as 2.855 percent for businesses, 2 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.563 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. To access both centers, visit FOCWAssistance@sba.gov.
Eligible applicants must first contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at www.disasterassistance.gov. Apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/.
Applicants may also call the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on SBA disaster assistance. For the hearing impaired, dial 1-800-877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.