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Posted February 19, 2021 | 4:09 PM

Residents and Businesses Impacted by Tropical Storm Eta May be Eligible for Low-Interest Loans

Learn More at Virtual Presentation on Feb. 25

Hillsborough County, Fla. (Feb. 19, 2021) - Hillsborough County homeowners, renters, private nonprofit organizations, and businesses affected by Tropical Storm Eta from Nov. 9-12, 2020 can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Hillsborough County residents are invited to learn more, and ask questions, during an online community presentation scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 25 at 1 p.m. To receive the link for the presentation, register online.

Types of Loans 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, nonprofit 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, nonprofit 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.

Applicants also 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, sump pump, French drain, or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

Interest rates are as low as 3 percent for businesses, 2 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.125 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition.

How to Apply and Deadlines
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via the SBA's secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is March 29, 2021. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Oct. 28, 2021.

For More Information

  • Attend the online community presentation scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 25 at 1 p.m. Register online.
  • The SBA has opened a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center to provide information and step-by-step assistance with the application process. The center is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Call (800) 659-2955 or email FOCE-Help@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Applicants may also contact the SBA Customer Service Center by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information about SBA disaster assistance.

The Small Business Administrative Disaster Declaration related to Tropical Storm Eta was made for Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties.

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