SBA Filing Deadline Extended to Jan. 3 in Fla., Ala.

December 23, 2004

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has extended application deadlines to Jan. 3 for residents and business owners in Florida and Alabama. A spokesman said it has approved more than $1 billion in loans in Florida and other areas affected by late summer hurricanes and floods, fast surpassing the $1 billion loaned after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The SBA said it has approved low-interest disaster loans to about 33,600 residents and business owners in the affected area. More than 1 million disaster loan applications were issued to residents and business owners in 14 states and Puerto Rico after four major hurricanes struck the region, the SBA said.

The 2004 hurricanes are among the costliest disasters to result in relief funding from the SBA. The agency previously approved $4 billion in loans after the 1994 Northridge earthquake in California.

The SBA makes low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters and non-farm businesses of all sizes. Including applications expected in the first few days of 2005.

In the wake of the hurricanes, the SBA said homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair disaster-damaged primary residences, while homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to replace personal property such as furniture and clothing.

Eligible businesses of all sizes and nonprofit organizations may apply for loans of up to $1.5 million to repair damage to real estate, machinery, equipment and inventory.

Economic injury disaster loans (EIDLs) of up to $1.5 million are also available to small businesses unable to pay bills or meet operating expenses.

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