The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced a new rule aimed at increasing support for disaster survivors and small businesses in need of relief after a federally declared disaster. The rule will go into effect for all disasters declared on or after July 31, 2023. According to SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, this rule change is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to provide resources to disaster survivors and help them recover and build resilience to the effects of climate change. The goal is to ensure that more flexible and affordable disaster loans are available for small businesses, nonprofits, renters, and homeowners so they can focus on quick recovery and help their communities thrive again.
Some of the key changes included in the rule are increased loan limits for primary residences, increased loan limits for personal property, the removal of an administrative limit on landscaping expenses, an extended initial payment deferral period, and no interest accrual for the first 12 months of the loan. The rule also eliminates the restriction on using disaster loan funds for only a “similar” disaster event and expands mitigation assistance to cover other types of hazards beyond the declared disaster event. This means that property owners can use their disaster loan funds to rebuild in a way that is stronger and more resilient against multiple types of hazards and not just a single threat.
For more information about these changes and the SBA’s disaster loan program, visit their website at www.sba.gov.