Gov. Rick Scott submitted a letter this week to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), to request help for residents and business owners in Hillsborough County in response to a severe storm damaging 153 homes and business properties. Scott asked the SBA to make a physical disaster declaration for the county and offer low-interest SBA loans to affected residents and business owners.
To qualify for a disaster declaration, Scott certified that at least 25 homes and businesses sustained uninsured losses of up to 40% or more. By SBA guidelines, disaster loans are available to renters, homeowners, business owners and small agricultural cooperatives located in declared disaster areas.
If the request is approved, residents and business owners may apply for the disaster loans. Homeowners may receive up to $200,000 for their homes and up to $40,000 for personal property destroyed by the storms. Business owners may receive loans up to $1.5 million for the physical and economic damage they sustained. Those who qualify, based on credit history, ability to repay and collateral requirements may receive loans at interest rates ranging from 2.563% to 5.125% for homeowners, and 4% to 6% for businesses.