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Governor Northam Announces Financial Assistance to Residents and Business Owners impacted by Tropical Storm Isaias

This update was published by Policy and Communications
Published: October 20, 2020

Low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration will help citizens and businesses recover from storm

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam announced today that Virginia’s request for financial assistance to aid citizens impacted by Tropical Storm Isaias on Aug. 3 – 5, 2020, has been approved, making low-interest federal loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) available to help residents and business owners rebuild from storm damage.

SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza made the loans available in response to a letter sent by Governor Northam on Oct. 5, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers the City of Suffolk and the adjacent counties and independent cities of Chesapeake, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton.

“It is always difficult to recover from a disaster, but this year has added challenges due to the ongoing pandemic,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian J. Moran. “We hope these communities will benefit from the federal disaster loans SBA offers and I encourage those that are eligible to take advantage of this assistance to aid in their recovery.”

In accordance with health precautions for COVID-19, the SBA will not establish a field presence to assist survivors. However, the SBA will continue to provide customer service and conduct outreach virtually with webinars, skype calls, phone assistance and step-by-step application assistance. The SBA has opened a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center to help survivors apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via the SBA’s secure website at https://DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov/. Virtual customer support representatives are available to help applicants complete the online application during these hours:

Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center (VDLOC)

Open: Daily Hours: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EDT

Email: FOCE-Help@sba.gov

Phone: (800) 659-2955

Applicants should contact the SBA’s Disaster Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 for assistance in completing their loan applications. Requests for SBA disaster loan program information may be obtained by emailing FOCE-Help@sba.gov. The SBA will conduct extensive outreach to ensure that those affected by the disaster have an opportunity to apply for assistance.

Through the SBA program, businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. 

Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

Interest rates are as low as 3 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.188 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amount and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at https://DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov/.

Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 7, 2020. The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 7, 2021.

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