WASHINGTON, DC — Linda McMahon, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, issued a statement on Thursday making known that S.B.A. is now providing low-interest loans for businesses, homeowners and renters affected by Hurricane Maria. The announcement following President Donald Trump’s disaster declaration for the island.
“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans. Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”
The disaster declaration covers Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands which is eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.
Businesses and nonprofits can apply up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Loans for working capital, known as Economic Injury Disaster Loans, are available even if the business did not suffer any physical damage. Homeowners can apply up to $200,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged real estate. Homeowners and renters can apply up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged personal property including automobiles.
Interest rates are as low as 3.305 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations, and 1.75 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA customizes loan amounts and terms based on each applicant’s circumstances.
Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at here.