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corner of content windowHurricane Frances News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 9, 2004
CONTACT: Jacob Dipietre  (850) 488-5394 or
                  Scott Openshaw (850) 487-2568

Governor Bush Announces Disaster Assistance for Businesses

~Small Business Administration partners with Florida to help businesses rebound~

TALLAHASSEE - Governor Jeb Bush today urged Florida's business owners directly impacted by Hurricane Frances to apply for emergency assistance under the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster assistance loan program. Governor Bush is also asking the SBA to expedite approval of eligible loan applications so business owners can utilize funding from the program as soon as possible.

"I thank Administrator Barreto and the SBA for their quick and aggressive response to the needs of Florida's victims of Hurricane Charley and now Frances," said Governor Bush. "The SBA has been and will continue to be a solid partner with Florida in our efforts to rehabilitate communities and revitalize businesses in the wake of these storms. The example set by our federal government in swiftly assisting Floridians in this critical time is deeply appreciated."

The SBA Disaster Assistance Loan Program was created to help people recover from catastrophe through affordable, timely, and accessible financial assistance programs. The SBA offers physical disaster assistance loans up to $1.5 million to businesses of all sizes and non-profit organizations to repair damage to real estate, machinery, equipment, and inventory caused by Hurricane Charley. The SBA also offers economic injury disaster loans to provide necessary working capital until normal operations resume after a disaster. The combined loan limit for both physical damage and economic injury loan assistance is $1.5 million. SBA business loans are provided at low interest rates (2.9 percent) and repayment terms up to 30 years.

SBA loans up to $200,000 are also available to homeowners to repair or restore their primary home to its pre-disaster condition. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to replace personal property such as furniture and clothing. Interest rates can be as low as 3.187 percent with terms up to 30 years.

"Just two weeks ago, Governor Bush and I toured some of the areas of Florida hardest hit by Hurricane Charley. Together, we distributed almost $1,000,000 in SBA disaster relief checks for those homeowners and small businesses suffering losses from that storm," said SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto. "In a matter of days, the SBA Disaster Team had begun to approve and make those loans. Now, the good citizens of Florida are faced with even greater challenges from the added devastation of Frances. The SBA looks forward to working with our partners at FEMA and the State of Florida to meet these challenges. As the President promised, we will stay as long as it takes to restore Florida and its citizens back to relative normalcy."

Counties directly affected by Hurricane Frances and declared disaster areas by FEMA are eligible to participate in the SBA program. Also eligible for disaster loans are victims of Hurricane Charley and Tropical Storm Bonnie. From Charley's landfall in Florida to present date, the SBA has approved $27.2 million in disaster assistance loans (business and housing).

To apply for SBA disaster assistance loans please call FEMA at (800) 621-FEMA (3362). To learn more about the SBA disaster assistance loan program visit www.sba.gov/disaster


Last updated: July 08, 2005

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