Small businesses in the path of Hurricane Ida who suffered damages may be eligible for grants, loans, and financial aid. The key is to apply as soon as possible so you can get these funds to get your business up and running.
Disaster Relief Available for Businesses in Path of Hurricane Ida
The path of destruction Hurricane Ida left started on August 29, when it made landfall in Louisiana. It then moved to Mississippi before heading to the Northeast. There it wreaked havoc in New York and New Jersey as well as some counties in Connecticut, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.
When parts of the states affected by Ida get disaster declarations, federal funds can start flowing in to help. To date Louisiana, New York, and New Jersey have received the designation. This will allow individuals and businesses to start receiving federal help.
For small businesses, this means loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) through the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). And in some cases, the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) can also help underserved communities.
Louisiana Businesses Eligible for Ida Relief
In Louisiana the declaration covers the following locations:
Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana parishes. These parishes are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.
New York Declares Disaster Emergency Following Ida
The declaration in New York covers Bronx, Kings, Queens, Richmond, and Westchester counties. These locations are eligible for Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.
New Jersey Businesses Eligible for Ida Relief
The disaster declaration in New Jersey covers Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic, and Somerset counties. These counties are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.
New Jersey has also established a $10 million grant program for small businesses affected by Ida. The grant program makes it possible for small businesses and non-profits with up to 50 employees to apply for grants of $1,000 to $5,000 dollars. Landlords and home-based businesses are not eligible for this grant program.
The following small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
- Connecticut – Fairfield
- Delaware – Bucks, New Castle
- New Jersey – Atlantic, Camden, Cumberland, Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Monmouth, Morris, Salem, Sussex, Union, and Warren
- New York – Nassau, Putnam, Orange, Rockland
- Pennsylvania – Philadelphia
SBA Reaches Out to Businesses Affected by Ida
As a small business or business of any size for that matter, the SBA provides loans up to $2 million through EIDL. This money is for repairing or replacing machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets along with real estate that are damaged or destroyed. Moreover, the SBA can also lend more money to help with the cost of improving, protecting, preventing, and minimizing the same disaster from taking place in the future. The interest rates for businesses can be as low as 2.855% and 2% for private nonprofit organizations.
For homeowners, disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Additionally, homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. For these loans, the interest rates are 1.563% with terms up to 30 years.
When applying for the loans, first you need to contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.disasterassistance.gov. You can apply online as well as get additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/.
If you need to talk to the SBA’s Customer Service Center for information on SBA disaster assistance, you can call (800) 659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals can call (800) 877-8339.
Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
You can also visit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce site’s Disaster Help Desk for Business to get small business assistance.
Here are the links to resources for the states most affected by Hurricane Ida:
- Louisiana – https://gohsep.la.gov/emergency/HurricaneIda
- Mississippi – https://www.msema.org/hurricane-ida/
- New York – https://www.governor.ny.gov/programs/governors-relief-and-response-resources
- New Jersey – https://www.nj.gov/ida/
- Pennsylvania – https://www.pema.pa.gov/Recovery/Pages/default.aspx
- Connecticut – https://uwc.211ct.org/tropical-storm/
- Delaware – https://dema.delaware.gov/ and https://governor.delaware.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/09/DE-Flood-Cleanup-Assistance.pdf
Sad as it sounds there are some evil scum bags who take advantage of people when they are down by perpetrating scams during these terrible times.
The scams usually involve getting you some grant money quickly; however, they will tell you you must pay a processing fee. Remember you don’t have to pay for government grants and a legitimate government agency will not ask you to pay an advanced processing fee.
If you get a call telling you to get a cash card for any amount to pay for the processing fee of a grant, hang up. If the agency the scammer is claiming to represent exists, call them and find out for yourself.