Sandy Update 5: A Lending Milestone as Congress Adds Recovery Funds

by James Rivera, SBA Officia

Ninety days after Hurricane Sandy struck the Northeast, the U.S. Small Business Administration crossed  the $1 billion threshold of approved loans to more than 16,800 homeowners, renters and businesses. This makes Hurricane Sandy, in terms of SBA disaster lending, the third largest natural disaster in U.S. history, behind Hurricanes Katrina/Rita/Wilma ($10.8 billion), and the Northridge Earthquake ($4 billion).

To put this massive storm and the
coordinated federal recovery effort into context, the SBA has approved
more loans for more money to Hurricane Sandy victims than what we
approved for all disasters in fiscal year 2012 (Oct. 1, 2011 to Sept.
30, 2012).  In FY2012, the SBA approved 15,000 disaster loans for a
total of $689 million.

The sheer size and scope of this
disaster created an increased need for more assistance.  This week
Congress passed an aid package that will provide SBA with an additional
$520 million to support up to $5 billion in low-interest disaster loans.

The bill also provides:

  • $249 million to cover to the administrative costs of making the loans;
  • $20 million to support SBA’s resource
    partners (SCORE, SBDCs, Women’s Business Development Centers) as they
    help business owners rebuild;
  • And $10 million to cover salaries and overhead expenses associated with the agency’s recovery efforts.
    We continue to process loan
    applications.  Together with FEMA, we have extended the disaster loan
    application deadlines for three states where we have seen the highest
    demand. The new deadline for Connecticut is Feb. 12; New York’s deadline
    is now Feb. 27, and March 1 is the deadline for New Jersey.

Here are the other deadlines:
Virginia–Feb. 5; Rhode Island–Feb. 13; Maryland–Feb. 12 (Somerset
County), March 4 (Worcester County); and Puerto Rico–March 11.

If you have a disaster loan
application, complete and send it back to as us soon as possible. Don’t
wait on your insurance payout. Your policy may not cover all the
replacement, repair and rebuilding costs—and the SBA disaster loan can
offset the difference.   In addition, the SBA will use any insurance
proceeds to reduce the loan amount.

You can apply online using the Electronic Loan Application.
If you think you need help filling out the application, or have
questions about what documents are required to complete the process,
call SBA’s Disaster Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. Those with a
speech disability or hearing loss may call 800-462-7585. You can also
email the center at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.  Visit SBA’s Hurricane Sandy website for more information.