To help with repairs, the Small Business Association (SBA) is providing loans at lowered interest rates to businesses damaged in Hurricane Harvey.
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According to a report by Forbes, the SBA is making loans available at 3.3 percent for small businesses and 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations.
Businesses can apply for loans of up to $2 million for repairing buildings, replacing equipment lost or damaged in the storm and restocking inventory.
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Administrators say FEMA should still be the first point of contact for small businesses looking for assistance, but the SBA opened its first relief center in Houston on Tuesday, pledging to work with affected businesses through many stages of the loan process.
We have opened the 1st @SBAgov Business Recovery Center in Houston, TX to ensure #SmallBiz owners have a 1-stop-shop for #Harvey assistance. https://t.co/wXliWFEqCw
— Linda McMahon (@SBALinda) September 5, 2017
Last year, the SBA approved disaster loans totaling $1.4 billion, and business owners could see this number sharply increase as Houstonians assess the damage brought by Harvey and decide whether they can reopen.
There are also loans available specifically for women, minorities and veterans.
According to the Chronicle, 364,000 loan applications were already filed with FEMA last week; about 103,000 of those were approved so far, amounting to $66.4 million in aid money for the purpose of temporary rental assistance and rebuilding.
As of Thursday, only 298 of the 8,000 received applications for SBA loans were approved in Texas – a number expected to spike in the coming days.
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If you need or would like to help in Houston, read more here.