Did you know that in the wake of a disaster, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations? In the aftermath of hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, wildfires, tornadoes and other disasters, SBA is the primary source of money from the federal government for long-term recovery assistance.
Am I eligible?
SBA’s Disaster Loan Program is not exclusively for small businesses. These low-interest, long-term loans are available for damage to private property owned by individuals, families, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofits not fully covered by insurance.
While property owners usually have some insurance coverage, often it does not cover all losses or even the type of hazard that caused the damage. And that’s where a disaster loan comes into play.
What can I use the loan for?
There are actually a few different types of disaster loans available. SBA can provide up to $2 million in disaster assistance for businesses. This includes loans to cover physical damage and economic injury losses. Some applicants will qualify for both an economic injury loan and a physical disaster loan. Meanwhile, the dollar limit for the combined loans is $2 million.
Each year small businesses nationwide are forced to close their doors in the aftermath of severe storms, flooding, tornadoes, wildfires and hurricanes. Business interruptions, even if they last just a few hours, are costly in terms of lost productivity and profits.
You can get help with your own business preparedness planning through a series of free webinars in September hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery. The September series is presented in collaboration with FEMA’s Ready Campaign as part of National Preparedness Month.
The SBA wants to help business owners take charge of the well-being of their own companies, the safety of their employees, and the sustenance of their local economies by being prepared to rebound quickly from any kind of disaster.
The half-hour webinars will be presented at 2 p.m., ET, each Wednesday in September. Visit http://snurl.com/296yw4e to register for any or all of the webinars listed below:
When business is disrupted, it can cost money. Lost revenues plus extra expenses means reduced profits. Insurance does not cover all costs and cannot replace customers that defect to the competition. A business continuity plan to continue business is essential. Development of a business continuity plan includes four steps:
Conduct a business impact analysis to identify time-sensitive or critical business functions and processes and the resources that support them.
How quickly your company is back in business following a disaster will depend on emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters, the occasional utility and technology outages, and the potential for terrorism demonstrate the importance of being prepared for many different types of emergencies. While recognizing that each situation is unique, your business can be better prepared if it plans carefully, puts emergency procedures in place, and practices for the kinds of emergencies it could face.
Small businesses interested in starting or expanding sales of their goods and services overseas have access to a new, free online tool that will gauge their readiness to export and help them develop an export business plan.
The Export Business Planner, developed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, offers a ready-made, customizable and easily accessible document that can be updated and referenced continuously as the business grows.