EDISON, NJ - The Small Business Administration will provide information about its disaster relief programs at Cabinets & Closets Expo 2013. The show runs Feb. 27-Mar. 1 in Edison, NJ.  

The SBA announced late last week that Cynthia Cowell, Public Information Officer of the U.S. Small Business Administration, will exhibit at the show, providing updates and advice on support for business survivors of Hurricane Sandy.

Cowell, who is based at the SBA's Field Operations Center-West in Sacramento, CA, will answer questions on SBA assistance for small businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy and other disasters. The Federal web portal, DisasterAssistance.gov, consolidates information from numerous Federal programs that assistance businesses and private citizens affected by disasters. It also offers links to state and regional disater assistance offices.

Cowell's appearance is timely, since the deadline for applying for SBA support for damage and loss from Hurricane Sandy is Mar. 1. A later deadline, for SBA support for economic injury, follows in July.

According to the SBA Disaster Assistance website:

If your business or private, nonprofit organization has suffered physical damage or your small business or private, nonprofit 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, nonprofit 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, nonprofit organizations may apply for a Physical Disaster Loan of up to $2 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, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes suffering substantial economic injury may be eligible for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan of up to $2 million to meet necessary financial obligations – expenses the business would have paid if the disaster had not occurred.

Interest Rates

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 that survived Hurricane Sandy have until March 1 to return applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration for low-interest disaster loans, the primary source of federal funds for long-term rebuilding, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. The quickest way to apply for an SBA disaster home or business loan is filling out an online application at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

The Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) is also providing support for woodshops affected by the hurricane, through member networking. CMA will be exibiting at through memberwill  Hurricane Sandy Disaster Recovery Information Center on the show floor, with information from the SBA, FEMA and other agencies at the Federal site DisasterAssistance.gov

The New Jersey State Treasury Office is also offering opportunities for out-of-state contractors and other businesses working temporarily in New Jersey on post-Sandy clean-up and reconstruction projects to register their businesses with Treasury’s Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services.

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