The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced an extension of the deadline for disaster loan applications to those affected by the devastating wildfires in Maui. Residents and businesses now have until January 25, 2024, to apply for federal disaster loans to address property damage caused by the wildfires and high winds that ravaged Maui from August 8 to September 30, 2023.
This 45-day grace period, exceeding the typical 15-day extension post the FEMA registration deadline underscores the SBA’s recognition of the extraordinary challenges faced by Maui’s community. This decision, spearheaded by SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, reflects a compassionate response to the unique magnitude of the disaster.
The extension is particularly crucial for small businesses, which form the backbone of the local economy. These enterprises, alongside private nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and renters, can seek federal disaster loans for repairing or replacing damaged property. Additionally, the SBA offers the option to borrow additional funds for future disaster mitigation improvements.
In a noteworthy aspect of this relief effort, small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and various private nonprofit organizations may be eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million. These loans are designed to offset financial obligations and operating expenses impacted by the disaster, including fixed debts, payroll, and accounts payable.
For homeowners, the SBA has made disaster loans up to $500,000 available for real estate repairs or replacements. Likewise, homeowners and renters can access up to $100,000 for personal property damages, including vehicles.
The SBA has set thoughtful interest rates for these loans: 4% for businesses, 2.375% for private nonprofit organizations, and 2.5% for homeowners and renters, with repayment terms extending up to 30 years. Notably, interest accrual and loan repayments commence 12 months from the first disbursement, offering further relief to the affected parties.
Applicants can apply online at SBA Hawaii Wildfires and seek additional information via SBA’s Customer Service Center or email. The service also accommodates individuals with hearing or speech disabilities through telecommunications relay services.
Small Business Deals
While the property damage loan deadline is set for January 25, 2024, the deadline for economic injury applications extends to May 10, 2024. For more details and access to recovery centers, interested parties can visit SBA Disaster Loan Assistance.
This extension is a critical lifeline for the Maui community, providing essential financial support and a longer window to navigate the post-disaster recovery process, which is crucial for both personal recovery and the revitalization of the local economy.