News and Announcements

U.S. Small Business Administration to Offer Loans

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2017

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has added more counties to the disaster declaration in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma that began on Sept. 4, 2017. Citrus County is now eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Applicants 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 to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property. Interest rates are as low as 3.305 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations, 1.75 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.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Citrus County Qualifies for FEMA Individual Assistance

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2017

On September 13, Citrus County qualified for FEMA Individual Assistance.   Homeowners, renters and business owners in Citrus County may now apply for federal disaster assistance for uninsured and underinsured damage and losses resulting from Hurricane Irma. Individuals will need to register with  FEMA through the official FEMA website. The County cannot by law be involved with this process. Citizens without power or internet may go to Citrus County Libraries for computer access.

To be eligible for federal aid under FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program, storm damage and losses from the hurricane and flooding must have occurred as a result of Hurricane Irma, beginning Sept. 4.

Register with FEMA as soon as possible. If you preregistered with FEMA, you do not have to apply again. If you have phone and/or internet access, you may register:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov, or
  • On the FEMA Mobile App, or by
  • Calling 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 800-621-3362. People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585.
  • The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, seven days a week.
  • Multilingual operators are available. Press 2 for Spanish and press 3 for other languages.

Don’t be discouraged if you do not have access to telephone or internet service. Disaster survivor assistance specialists will soon be in Citrus County helping people register for assistance. Locations for FEMA disaster specialist will be announced at a later date. Assistance for eligible survivors can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs.

Long-term, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also may be available to businesses to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.  Contact your insurance company to file an insurance claim. FEMA does not duplicate insurance payments. However, you may still receive help after your insurance claims have been settled.

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