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The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the agency’s first disaster declarations leveraging the Rural Communities Act, which will enable businesses and residents affected by recent disasters in Alabama, Nevada, and California to become eligible for low-interest SBA disaster loans.

Under this program, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace 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 of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

As a result of new SBA new rules enacted July 31, disaster loans up to $500,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. In addition, homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $100,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property, including personal vehicles. The SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize future disaster damage.

“The SBA’s new disaster declaration process for rural communities will allow us to deliver crucial resources to those impacted, no matter where they are,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “These are the first declarations that will benefit from the Rural Communities Act, bipartisan legislation signed by President Biden, which will ensure that more small businesses, nonprofits, renters, and homeowners in disaster-impacted communities in Nevada and across the U.S. can access SBA’s disaster assistance so they can focus on rebuilding their communities.”