Emergency loans available after March tornadoes

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the opening of disaster loans for those affected by the tornado that came through North Central Florida on March 12. 

The disaster loan, available through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), can be accessed by residents and businesses in Alachua, Citrus, Lake, Marion, Putnam, Sumter and Volusia counties. 

“Getting small businesses back on their feet following a disaster is important to a fast recovery for impacted communities,” DeSantis said in the press release. “This assistance will put cash in the hands of small business owners and residents and help them rebuild stronger.”

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A cold front on March 12 brought strong thunderstorms and tornadoes that especially affected Marion County. DeSantis issued an emergency declaration and following the severe weather requested the loan option from the SBA. 

The following three loans will be available: 

  • Business Physical Disaster Loans – Loans to businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery, and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible. Private, non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc., are also eligible.

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) – Working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period.

  • Home Disaster Loans – Loans to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and personal property, including automobiles.

Affected persons can apply online or download the application at DisasterLoan.SBA.gov.

Applicants can also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@SBA.gov


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