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Tampa Bay-Lakeland
Business Observer Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022 1 month ago

Federal agency opens recovery center to help businesses with disaster aid

SBA’s Business Recovery Center in Tampa will help companies apply for emergency loans in wake of Hurricane Ian.
by: Louis Llovio Commercial Real Estate Editor

The Small Business Administration is opening a Business Recovery Center in Tampa on Monday, Oct. 3, the first of what will be several offices across the state for companies to get help in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

The center, “the “first of many BRCs SBA will open in the affected counties,” will allow business owners to get individual help submitting disaster loan applications and accessing programs to help with recovery.

According to a Sunday statement from the SBA, businesses and private nonprofit organizations “of any size” can borrow up to $2 million to “repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.” 

Homeowners will also have access to disaster loans with up to $200,000 available to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate, according to the SBA. Homeowners and renters are also eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed personal property.

Applicants, the agency says, may be “eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20% of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, for mitigation purposes.”

The center is part of a federal recovery effort in the wake of last week’s massive hurricane that caused, according to some early estimates, as much as $40 billion in damages. The storm ravaged much of the state but brought severe devastation to Southwest Florida.

According to the SBA, businesses in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties in Florida are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Small businesses and most private nonprofits in adjacent counties, including Pasco County, are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

Francisco Sanchez, Jr., associate administrator in the office of disaster assistance at SBA, says the recovery centers are “one of the most powerful resources” at the agency’s disposal because they helps businesses get help from specialists  on “the full breadth of our programs designed to help them navigate their recovery.”




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