The Small Business Administration (SBA) is ready to help small businesses affected by Hurricane Harvey.
That, according to Linda McMahon, SBA Administrator.
“SBA is strongly committed to providing Texas with the most effective and customer-focused response possible and with access to federal disaster loans to help Texas businesses and residents affected by this disaster,” said McMahon. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”
Low-Interest SBA Disaster Loans
According to this SBA press release, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery, inventory and other business assets. The SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements. These improvements are meant to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.
In addition, SBA resources will be on the ground soon in the form of Disaster and Business Recovery Centers. Survivors of Hurricane Harvey will be able to apply in person at these centers. They’ll also be able to receive counseling on how to rebuild their businesses and their lives.
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Houston’s Housing Affected Big-Time
According to Jim Gaines, economist for Texas A&M University’s Real Estate Center, “Business activity is halted in Houston for at least several more days, and much of Harris County’s housing stock is flooded. Everything from business deals to home sales has been halted and will be suspended while people go into damage-assessment and repair mode. “From Port Aransas to Houston, communities will face a serious housing shortage as many homes and apartments will be uninhabitable until rebuilt or repaired.”
It’s important to note that when housing is affected by a natural disaster like Hurricane Harvey, there’s a substantial trickle-down effect; it impacts small businesses-including franchise businesses.
From the look of things, thousands of homes will need to be demolished. Anything that’s toxic will have to be disposed of-carefully. Not to mention all the things that will have to be replaced. Like furniture, carpeting, appliances, cars, trucks…and entire homes.
Small Businesses In Houston Have Taken A Huge Hit
In addition to Hurricane Harvey’s effect on residential neighborhoods, thousands of small businesses will either have to be either fixed up or demolished. (And hopefully rebuilt.) I’m talking about small businesses of all kinds.
- Grocery stores
- Convenient stores
- Fitness clubs
- Doctor’s offices
- Nursing homes
- Sign shops
The U.S. Government’s Disaster Assistance Website
Finally, if you live in the Houston area, and your small business has been impacted by Hurricane Harvey, information on disaster assistance-including how to apply for low-interest small business loans from the SBA, can be found at https://www.disasterassistance.gov
*If you’re reading this article and want to donate to the people of Houston, go to RedCross.org.