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Our thoughts are with our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico, Houston and Mexico, impacted by the horrific natural disasters of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Maria and the earthquakes.Hurricane Irma caused a lot of damage to the Florida Keys and other parts of our state, and many individuals and businesses are still in recovery mode.Access to assistance for a quick recovery and viability of businesses affected by natural disasters is important to the economic well being of both the businesses and our communities. FEMA and the SBA are two government agencies that have programs to provide assistance to both individuals and businesses so they can recover.Some business owners are hesitant to apply for assistance, waiting for their insurance settlement. Others do not carry insurance and do not know that they can receive assistance for damage to their property, even if a rental, or economic injury due to the hurricanes.These are recommendations from the agencies if you were affected by these natural disasters:
- You should apply for assistance even if you have insurance because you may discover that you still have unmet needs after you receive your settlement.
- If you have not contacted your insurance agent to file a claim, do so right away. Insurance is your main source for money to put your life, home and business back in order after a disaster.
- Insurance may not cover all post-disaster expenses, so disaster programs may be able to help.
- Don't wait for your insurance settlement to apply for a low-interest disaster loan from the SBA.The Small Business Administration
- The U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) low-interest disaster loans are the primary source of federal assistance to rebuild disaster-damaged property. SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private nonprofit organizations.
- Submitting an SBA disaster loan application is an essential part of the disaster recovery process.
- Low-interest disaster loans from the SBA are available for businesses of all sizes (including landlords), private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters.
- Economic Injury disaster loans are available to small businesses and most private nonprofits to assist with working capital needs as a direct result of the disaster.
- Additional information on the disaster loan program may be obtained by calling SBA's Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visitwww.sba.gov/disaster. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
Have a wonderful day!Millie HerreraThe Miami Group & Associates, Inc.