SBA Tops Nearly $40 Million in Disaster Assistance Loans for Those Impacted by Maui Wildfires

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SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved nearly $40 million in federal disaster loans for Hawaii business owners and residents impacted by wildfires that began August 8.

The SBA, through its Disaster Field Operations Center West (FOCW), has approved nearly $8 million for businesses and more than $30 million for homeowners and renters to help rebuild and recover from this disaster. Following President Biden’s disaster declaration in Hawaii on August 10, Administrator Guzman traveled to Maui alongside FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell to survey the damage and highlight federal resources available to those affected by the wildfires.

In addition to its presence at FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) in Hawaii, the SBA opened a disaster Business Recovery Center (BRC) ahead of President Biden’s visit to Maui, where he met with local officials regarding ongoing recovery efforts and continued to commit the full weight of the federal government to help the people of Hawaii rebuild. Businesses, nonprofits, homeowners, and renters in Maui County who sustained property damage or economic injury are encouraged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.disasterassistance.gov prior to the October 10 deadline.

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“Within hours of President Biden’s disaster declaration, the SBA was on the ground in Maui as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to leverage the full weight of the federal government in helping the island recover,” said Administrator Guzman. “We know the fires have been devastating and are committed to being on the ground as long as it takes to support the people of Hawaii as they recover and build back stronger. Today’s announcement demonstrates SBA is working hard with disaster survivors – from renters and homeowners to businesses and nonprofits – to plan for the future and Maui’s recovery.”

“The SBA’s disaster assistance team is committed to helping businesses and residents rebuild as quickly as possible,” said Francisco Sánchez Jr., SBA Associate Administrator for the Office of Disaster Recovery & Resilience (ODR&R). “Don’t miss out on any assistance you may be entitled to by not registering for help. You don’t need to wait for your insurance to settle or obtain a contractor’s estimate.”

The SBA continues to provide one-on-one assistance to disaster loan applicants at the federal-state DRCs and the SBA’s BRC throughout the affected areas to explain the SBA’s disaster loan program and help business owners and residents apply for and close their approved disaster loans.

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory, and other business assets. The SBA can also lend additional funds to help businesses and residents with the cost of making improvements that protect, prevent, or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage. The deadline to apply for economic injury is May 10, 2024.

Disaster loans up to $500,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $100,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property, including personal vehicles.

Interest rates can be as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.375 percent for private nonprofit organizations, and 2.5 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.

As a result of SBA policy improvements, interest does not begin to accrue until 12 months from the date of the first disaster loan disbursement. SBA disaster loan repayment begins 12 months from the date of the first disbursement.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information, and download applications at https://www.sba.gov/hawaii-wildfires. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email [email protected] for more information on SBA disaster assistance. For people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services. Completed applications should be mailed to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

CONTACT: Christine Saah Nazer U.S. Small Business Administration 202-756-0304 [email protected] 

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