Compiled by Stace Sorrells, SBDCNet Researcher
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Getting back to business after a disaster depends on preparedness planning done today. Small business owners invest a tremendous amount of time, money and resources to make their ventures successful, and yet, while the importance of emergency planning may seem self-evident, it may get put on the back-burner in the face of more immediate concerns. For small business owners, being prepared can mean staying in business following a disaster. An estimated 25 percent of businesses do not reopen following a major disaster, according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety.
The materials and resources on this Web site can help small businesses make plans to recover from financial losses and business interruption and to protect their employees, the community and the environment.
Information from the U.S. Small Business Administration
- PSA from the SBA
- SBA’s Disaster Preparedness website
- Expect the Unexpected
- Business preparedness tips
- Fact sheet – with information on how to recover from a disaster
- Disaster Recovery
- Ready.gov – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has made files for the Ready Campaign’s publications available to the public to download at no cost.
- Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry – FEMA – This guide provides step-by-step advice to organizations on how to create and maintain a comprehensive emergency management program.
- Preparing Your Business For the Unthinkable – American Red Cross
- DisasterSafety.org – Tips on construction safety for you business.
SBA Disaster Assistance For Businesses of All Sizes
If your business or private, non-profit organization has suffered physical damage or
your small business or private, non-profit organization of any size has sustained
economic injury after a disaster, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the
U.S. Small Business Administration. If your business—regardless of size—is located
in the declared disaster area, you may apply for a long-term, low-interest loan to repair
or replace damaged property.
Even if your property was not damaged and you are a small business owner or a
private, non-profit organization, you may apply for a working capital loan from the
SBA to relieve the economic injury caused by the disaster.
Physical Disaster Loans
Businesses of all sizes and private, non-profit organizations may apply for a
Physical Disaster Loan of up to $2.0 million to repair or replace damaged real estate,
equipment, inventory and fixtures. The loan may be increased by as much as
20 percent of the total amount of disaster damage to real estate and/or leasehold
improvements, as verified by SBA, to protect the property against future disasters
of the same type. These loans will cover uninsured or under-insured losses.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans
Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and certain private, non-profit
organizations of all sizes suffering substantial economic injury may be eligible for
an Economic Injury Disaster Loan of up to $2.0 million to meet necessary financial
obligations – expenses the business would have paid if the disaster had not occurred.
The interest rate on both these loans will not exceed 4 percent if you do not have credit
available elsewhere. Repayment can be up to 30 years, depending on the business’s
ability to repay the loan. For businesses and nonprofit organizations with credit
available elsewhere, the interest rate will not exceed 8 percent. SBA determines
whether the applicant has credit available elsewhere.
Businesses may apply directly to the SBA for possible assistance. The SBA will
send an inspector to estimate the cost of your damage once you have completed and
returned your loan application.
Downloadable application forms are available at:
For information about SBA disaster-assistance for businesses, call 1-800-659-2955.
Frequently Asked Questions
What information must I submit for a disaster loan?
Submit a completed loan application and a signed and dated IRS form 8821 giving
permission for the IRS to provide the SBA your tax return information.
To process your application we need current financial information such as a personal
financial statement, a current profit-and-loss statement, balance sheet and a list of