BACKGROUNDER: As hurricane season approaches, the US Small Business Administration continues to … | Nation/World

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Washington, June 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — With the official start of hurricane season, it’s more important than ever for residents and small businesses to remember that the best course of action to limit damage from natural disasters is to prepare before disaster strikes. Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzmanthe voice of 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 briefing on hurricane preparedness and actions for President Biden. During her tenure, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) has been at the forefront of ensuring that small businesses, non-profit organizations, and individual homeowners and tenants affected by natural disasters across the country have the support and l recovery assistance they need, as well as tools to build their resilience.

Natural disasters are not only more devastating; they also happen faster, more frequently, and often change rapidly in complexity and scope. In 2020, the United States suffered 22 separate billion-dollar disasters — the most in our history — but space experts expect that number to continue to rise. Addressing 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 preparedness is a critical part of the SBA’s work under Administrator Guzman.

That’s why the SBA ensures that its products and services are simple and flexible enough to meet the needs of small businesses where they are and help them prepare for, manage and recover from growing disaster threats, including pandemics, cybersecurity and the increase in natural disasters due to climate change.

SBA programs that support disaster-affected communities have expanded and scaled in the face of new challenges.

  • Over the past year, the SBA has approved more than $2 billion to help residents and businesses in all 50 states and five territories recover from natural and other physical disasters unrelated to the pandemic, including multiple hurricanes, floods and wildfires, all of which have been increasing in frequency and severity with significant physical, human and economic costs.
  • With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting communities and economies around the world, tireless SBA officials have been 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 US bailout, the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG), have provided a lifeline to millions of small businesses across America.
  • Thanks to COVID EIDL, over $378 billion has been put directly into the hands of over 3.9 million entrepreneurs in our hardest hit sectors. The COVID EIDL Advance programs have invested an additional approximately $7.6 billion in grant funds. And the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program has helped rescue nearly 13,000 arts businesses, collectively awarding them more than $14.2 billion. Additionally, more than $800 billion was distributed through the Paycheck Protection Program and $28.6 billion through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
  • As of June 1, 2022, SBA staff are responding to two open Presidential Disaster Declarations, 10 SBA Administrative Disaster Declarations, six Governor’s Certifications, 108 Secretary of Agriculture Declarations, and one Disaster Loan Declaration. disaster for economic damage of military reservist.

As the anchors of our communities, small businesses rely on resilient neighborhoods for their customers and employees, and SBA’s disaster relief loan programs help communities recover quickly.

  • Assisting in 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 Disaster Loan Program of The SBA is the only federal assistance program that provides private homeowners an affordable way to mitigate the effects of disasters and protect their homes, families, businesses, employees and livelihoods from the next disaster. Funds received from SBA disaster loans can be used by homeowners 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 protection upgrades, move to a safer, lower-risk area, and more. Again. And low, fixed interest rates amortized over 30 years for low monthly payments provide homeowners with an affordable way to fully repair/replace their disaster losses not covered by other recoveries.
  • In addition, borrowers using the SBA’s physical disaster loan programs are also eligible for up to 20% of their total physical losses, as verified by the SBA, to incorporate additional safeguards to mitigate disasters. future damages and losses against the next disaster.
  • The SBA also offers non-pandemic economic disaster loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private nonprofit organizations located in a declared disaster area rebuild after suffering a loss. substantial.

Preparation is the key. By helping small businesses, landlords, tenants and others focus on preparedness, we can help reduce the impacts of future disasters. Here are some ways businesses can prepare for this year’s hurricane season:

  • Establish a communication 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 planning of facilities and operations; consider e-commerce solutions or temporary alternate locations to quickly resume operations and assess supply chains.
  • Engage in pre-disaster contract development opportunities.
  • Practice and test your plan with managers and staff.

Supporting mitigation, equity and resilience in a time of growing disaster threats.

As the SBA assesses the enormous impact of its COVID relief programs on rescuing millions of small businesses, the Agency is taking this opportunity to reimagine how it provides disaster assistance and how our country’s needs can evolve in the face of these worsening disasters, including transforming the way we do business and present ourselves to provide a positive customer experience for residents and small business owners in times of need.

By placing 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 enhancing current partnerships while By identifying new opportunities to collaborate with organizations on the ground, the SBA is uniquely positioned to help our small businesses, landlords, tenants, and nonprofits weather any storm.

Small business resilience is enhanced by SBA’s small business foundation programs.

Helping small businesses build their financial resources before disaster strikes by leveraging SBA’s various core programs is key to building resilient communities and ensuring rapid recovery. This means ensuring that contractors have access to capital and standard loan programs, as well as help in growing their income by bringing their products online or in global marketplaces and accessing the federal government procurement opportunitiesoften by connecting them to one of the Agency’s new networks Community Browsers, hundreds of field offices, or thousands of Resource Partners – including Small Business Development Centers, Business centers for womenSCORE chapters and Veteran Business Ownership Centers – for mentoring, training and assistance in navigating government resources.

Questions about disaster loans can be emailed to [email protected] or referred to the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (7-1-1 for the deaf and hard of hearing). Information on major SBA lending programs, revenue growth opportunities, and technical assistance is available at SBA.gov.

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About the United States Small Business Administration

The United States Small Business Administration helps fuel the American dream of business ownership. As the single, go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA gives entrepreneurs and small business owners the resources and support they need to start, grow, or grow their business, or recover from a declared crisis. disaster. It provides services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

About the Disaster Assistance Office

The Office of Disaster Assistance (ODA) helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, landlords and tenants recover from the devastation caused by federally declared disasters. Their efforts ensure that adequate and affordable financial assistance is quickly provided to those in need. The disaster loan program is the only form of SBA assistance not limited to small businesses. Disaster Assistance has been part of the agency since its creation in 1953. To find out more, visit www.sba.gov/disasterassistance.

Press Office United States Small Business Administration [email protected]

Copyright 2022 GlobeNewswire, Inc.

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