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Feds open first post-Ian recovery center in Tampa to apply for loans

Homeowners, renters, nonprofits and businesses can qualify for help.
Damage caused by Hurricane Ian seen at Charlotte Sports Park located on the grounds of the Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training complex seen on Thursday. The U.S. Small Business Administration is opening the first of several recovery centers to help residents, businesses and nonprofits apply for loans.
Damage caused by Hurricane Ian seen at Charlotte Sports Park located on the grounds of the Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training complex seen on Thursday. The U.S. Small Business Administration is opening the first of several recovery centers to help residents, businesses and nonprofits apply for loans. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Oct. 2|Updated Oct. 2

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced it will open a Business Recovery Center in Hillsborough County on Monday, the first of many the agency expects to open in counties impacted by Hurricane Ian.

The center will provide help with applying for low-interest loans for businesses and individuals affected by the hurricane. It will be housed at the Chloe Coney Urban Enterprise Center, 1907 E Hillsborough Ave., in Tampa.

Residents in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Seminole counties are eligible to apply for physical damage as well as economic damage. Small businesses and nonprofits in Brevard, Broward, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Pasco, Sumter and Volusia counties are eligible to apply only for economic injury disaster loans.

Homeowners can apply for up to $200,000 in loans for physical property damage and nonprofits and businesses of all sizes for up to $2 million. Personal property damage loans, including for vehicles, are available up to $40,000 for homeowners and renters.

Mitigation loans to prevent future damage, such as money to create storm shelters or install retaining walls, are available for up to 20% of physical damages. Small businesses are eligible for economic injury losses even if they did not suffer physical damage but a loss of business. Loans can also be used to relocate.

Only losses not covered by insurance or otherwise compensated are eligible. Secondary homes, personal pleasure boats, airplanes and recreational vehicles not used for business are ineligible, according to a news release.

The deadline for physical damage loans is Nov. 28 and the deadline for economic injury loans is June 29, 2023. But Sharon Gadbois, a Small Business Administration spokesperson, said in an interview that people are encouraged to apply early. Once approved, there is no obligation to take the loan and applicants have 60 days to decide.

Interest rates start at 2.188% for individuals, 1.875% for nonprofits and 3.04% for businesses.

The center will operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Gadbois advises arriving early and to bring a state ID and cellphone if available. Applicants should also be prepared to provide tax returns later in the process.

Applicants should register online at DisasterAssistance.gov, download the Federal Emergency Management Agency mobile app or call that agency’s toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362.

A news release said applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/, and should apply under Small Business Administration declaration # 17644.

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling 800-659-2955 (dial 711 to access telecommunications relay services) or by sending an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov.

Loan applications can be downloaded at sba.gov/disaster and completed applications should be mailed to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76155.

• • •

Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Ian coverage

HOW TO HELP: Where to donate or volunteer to help Hurricane Ian victims.

FEMA: Floridians hurt by Ian can now apply for FEMA assistance. Here’s how.

THE STORM HAS PASSED: Now what? Safety tips for returning home.

POST-STORM QUESTIONS: After Hurricane Ian, how to get help with fallen trees, food, damaged shelter.

WEATHER EFFECTS: Hurricane Ian was supposed to slam Tampa Bay head on. What happened?

WHAT TO DO IF HURRICANE DAMAGES YOUR HOME: Stay calm, then call your insurance company.

SCHOOLS: Will schools reopen quickly after Hurricane Ian passes? It depends.

MORE STORM COVERAGE: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane.

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