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  • FACT SHEET - - - As Hurricane Season Approaches, the U.S. Small Business Administration Continues to Prioritize Equitably Supporting Impacted Communities Through Disaster Assistance, Mitigation, and Business Preparedness Efforts

    FACT SHEET: As Hurricane Season Approaches, the U.S. Small Business Administration Continues to Prioritize Equitably Supporting Impacted Communities Through Disaster Assistance, Mitigation, and Business Preparedness Efforts
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    Information contained in U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) press release dated: June 2, 2022

    Administrator Guzman: “Our small businesses depend on neighborhoods to survive and thrive as neighbors are their customers and employees. That is why the SBA helps entire communities - homeowners, renters, nonprofits, and businesses - become more resilient and recover swiftly from disasters.”

    With the start of hurricane season officially upon us, it is more important than ever for residents and small businesses to remember that the best course of action to limit damage from natural disasters is preparing before the disaster hits. Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, the voice for America’s 32.5 million small businesses in President Biden’s Cabinet, underscored this critical point and the need for equity, mitigation, and preparedness efforts as part of the annual Hurricane Preparedness and Actions briefing for President Biden. During her tenure, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has been at the forefront of ensuring small businesses, nonprofits, as well as individual homeowners and renters impacted by natural disasters around the nation have the support and recovery relief that they need, and the tools to build resilience.

    Natural disasters are not just more devastating; they are also coming faster, more frequently, and are often rapidly changing in their complexity and scope. In 2020, the United States suffered 22 separate billion-dollar disasters —the most in our history— but experts in the space expect that number to continue to climb. Fighting climate change and preparing America to adapt to its impacts has been and will remain a priority for the Biden-Harris Administration - and supporting that readiness is a critical component of the SBA’s work under Administrator Guzman.

    That is why the SBA is ensuring its products and services are simple and flexible enough to meet small businesses where they are and help them prepare, manage and recover from the growing disaster threats, including pandemics, cybersecurity and increased natural disasters due to climate changes.

    The SBA’s Programs That Support Communities Impacted by Disasters Have Expanded and Scaled in the Face of New Challenges.

    °In the past year, the SBA approved more than $2 billion to help residents and businesses across all 50 states and five territories recover from natural and other non-pandemic related physical disasters, including multiple hurricanes, floods, and wildfires, all of which have been rising in frequency and severity at significant physical, human, and economic costs.
    °With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting communities and economies across the globe, the SBA’s tireless civil servants were called upon to expand into new areas to help small businesses stay afloat. Two of the critical SBA programs funded in part by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG), provided a lifeline to millions of small businesses across America.
    °Through COVID EIDL, more than $378 billion was put directly into the hands of over 3.9 million entrepreneurs from our hardest-hit sectors. The COVID EIDL Advance Programs put an additional $7.6 billion, approximately, in grant funds. And the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program helped save nearly 13,000 businesses in the arts industry, collectively awarding them more than $14.2 billion. Additionally, over $800 billion was distributed through the Paycheck Protection Program and $28.6 billion through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
    °As of June 1, 2022, SBA personnel are responding to two open Presidential disaster declarations, 10 SBA Administrative disaster declarations, six Governor’s certifications, 108 Secretary of Agriculture declarations, and one Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.

    As the Anchors of Our Communities, Small Businesses Rely on Resilient Neighborhoods for their Customers and their Employees, and the SBA’s Disaster Relief Loan Programs Help Communities Recover Swiftly.

    °Assisting with disaster recovery in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and the five U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the SBA’s disaster loan program is the only federal assistance program that provides private property owners an affordable way to mitigate disaster impacts and protect their homes, families, businesses, employees, and livelihoods against the next disaster. Funds received from °SBA disaster loans can be used by property owners to build back better, stronger, and more resilient.
    SBA disaster loan funds can be used to cover insurance deductibles, refinance an existing mortgage, pay for mitigation and protective upgrades, relocate to a safer and lower risk area, and more. And low, fixed interest rates amortized over 30 years for low monthly payments offer an affordable way for property owners to fully repair/replace their disaster losses not covered by other recoveries.
    °Additionally, borrowers using SBA’s physical disaster loan programs are also eligible for up to 20 percent of their total physical losses, as verified by SBA, to incorporate additional protective measures to mitigate future damage and losses against the next disaster.
    °SBA also offers non-pandemic related economic injury disaster loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private nonprofit organizations located in a declared disaster area rebuild after suffering a substantial loss.

    Preparation is key. By helping small businesses, homeowners, renters, and others shift their focus to preparedness, we can help reduce the impacts of future disasters. A few ways businesses can get ready for this year’s hurricane season:

    °Establish a communications plan and subscribe to local emergency management alerts.
    °Protect vital information in the cloud.
    Review insurance coverage, consider business interruption insurance, and take a video inventory of property and assets.
    °Complete facilities and operations planning; consider e-commerce solutions or temporary alternative locations to resume operations quickly and evaluate supply chains.
    °Engage in pre-disaster contract development opportunities.
    °Practice and test your plan with managers and staff.

    Supporting Mitigation, Equity, and Resiliency in an Age of Growing Disaster Threats.

    As the SBA assesses the enormous impact of its COVID relief programs on saving millions of small businesses, the Agency is taking this opportunity to reimagine how it provides disaster assistance and how our nation’s needs may evolve in the face of these worsening disasters, including transforming how we do business and show up to deliver a positive customer experience to residents and small business owners in their time of need.

    Through greater emphasis on business preparedness operations for our small businesses, equitable distribution of disaster funding and attention to recovery efforts in historically underserved communities, and by improving upon current partnerships while identifying new collaboration opportunities with on-the-ground organizations, the SBA is uniquely positioned to help our small businesses, homeowners, renters, and nonprofits weather any storm.

    Small Business Resilience is Strengthened by SBA’s Core Small Business Programs.

    Critical to building resilient communities and ensuring swift recovery is helping small businesses bolster their financial resources before a disaster strikes by taking advantage of the SBA’s various core programs. This means ensuring entrepreneurs have access to capital and standard lending programs, as well as assistance growing their revenues by getting their products online or into global markets and accessing federal contracting opportunities, often by connecting them to one of the Agency’s newly launched Community Navigators, hundreds of Field Offices, or thousands of Resource Partners - including Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, SCORE chapters and Veterans Business Ownership Centers - for mentoring, training, and assistance in navigating government resources.

    Questions about disaster loans can be emailed to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or directed to SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (7-1-1 for the deaf and hard of hearing). Information on SBA’s core lending programs, revenue growth opportunities and technical assistance can be found at SBA.gov.

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