True or false: setting the record straight on SBA loans and FEMA assistance


The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application offers many benefits to Hurricane Ida survivors who seek FEMA disaster assistance.

True or false: I can be referred to SBA after applying to FEMA.

True: After applying for FEMA disaster assistance, you may be contacted by the SBA. If you are prompted to apply for a low interest SBA loan, we encourage you to do so. Applying to the SBA ensures that all options for disaster assistance remain open to you.

True or false: The SBA application can be the basis for referrals to other grant programs.

True: Filing the application allows you to be considered for additional grants. If you apply for a low interest SBA disaster loan and are not eligible, this may open the door to additional FEMA assistance. If the SBA denies the loan application, you may be eligible for an additional grant from FEMA to replace essential household items; replace or repair a damaged vehicle; cover storage costs or meet other disaster-related needs.

True or false: I must accept an SBA loan if I am approved.

False: If the SBA determines that you qualify for a loan, you are not required to accept it. However, if you qualify for an SBA loan and choose not to accept it, additional resources may not be available to you for disaster recovery.

True or false: I have to choose between a FEMA Individual Assistance grant or an SBA loan.

False: Being eligible for an SBA loan does not mean that you are suddenly ineligible for FEMA assistance. There are several important reasons for completing and submitting an SBA application, even if you think you don’t currently need a loan. For example, you may find that you were underinsured for the amount of work required to repair or replace your home. A low interest SBA disaster loan can bridge the gap between your recovery costs and the settlement amount.

True or false: SBA loans are only for businesses.

False: The SBA offers homeowner loans up to $ 200,000 to repair or replace your primary residence. The loans are tailored to your personal financial situation. On a case-by-case basis, the SBA may be able to help you refinance your current mortgage (s).

SBA can help tenants and landlords replace household contents (eg, clothing, furniture, and appliances) and vehicles, called personal property. Homeowners and tenants are entitled to up to $ 40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

True or false: SBA loans are available to businesses and nonprofits of any size.

True: Businesses of all sizes and private non-profit organizations can borrow up to $ 2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other commercial assets. The SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help cover the cost of improvements to protect, prevent, or minimize the same type of damage from a disaster in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private non-profit organizations of any size, SBA offers economic disaster loans to help meet the fund’s needs of turnover caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Assistance is available to businesses regardless of any material damage.

True or false: There is a deadline for applying for a low interest SBA loan.

True: The deadline for filing property damage claims is October 28, 2021. The deadline for returning economic damages claims is May 31, 2022.

The SBA has set up a virtual disaster loan assistance center that is open Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. Survivors can contact an SBA customer service representative by e-mail. mail to or by phone at 800-659-2955. Survivors can apply online at

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