My commiserations to all merchants who commit themselves to establishing great companies only to have them destroyed by natural disasters like the most recent Harvey and Irma Hurricanes.  While one may argue that business owners should prepare earlier for such phenomena, most startups lack the capital to invest on disaster recovery and continuity strategies. To provide such victims with a stepping stone to revival, here’s a useful list of benefits available together with links to get your on the provider’s websites and make the most out of them as fast as possible.

Low Interest Loans:  SBA and USDA both provide loans with low interest rates to assist entrepreneurs cater for repair and replacement costs of equipment and property destroyed by hurricanes.

Disaster assistance is funding offered to people, families and local businesses in a region where property has been destroyed by a phenomenon declared by the president. Loans are available for companies that suffer economic losses due to disasters. You can always get assistance from your state government, the SBA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Farm Services Agency (FSA).

Economic Injury Disaster Loans:  These are loans meant to help business owners that suffer “significant economic injury.”  You could receive up to $2 million to give you access to the dependable working capital you need to move on after a disaster.  The loan term may go as long as 30 years with interest rates not exceeding 4 percent (for those who can’t obtain credit somewhere else) or 8 percent (for those who can obtain credit elsewhere).

Physical Disaster Loans:  These are loans that permit the SBA to lend cash to the tune of $2 million to cover repair and replacement costs of destroyed equipment, real estate and inventory. Unlike high risk business loans, the term for these loans last up to 30 years with interest rates not exceeding 4 percent (for those who can’t obtain credit somewhere else) or 8 percent (for those who can obtain credit elsewhere).

Tax Relief:  If the federal government declares a disaster in your area, all affected merchants can apply for tax relief. This means you can make late tax filings or expedited repays.

Free Legal Services:  Through FEMA, your business can enjoy free legal services for areas federally declared by the President. You can get legal assistance on matters such as filing your insurance claims, rent issues, etc.

Don’t let your years of toil get washed away without trying to restore the business soon after a hurricane. The above options are a great way to start rebuilding, but you can always research to see if there are other useful alternatives.

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