Jack Walker Published

One Month Left To Apply For Business Loans Over Storm-Related Damages

Crumbled bricks lie in the street in front of a damaged building in Charleston, West Virginia.
Extreme storms in April brought structural damage to this building in Kanawha County. The severe weather incident was one of many later to be named a major disaster incident.
Chris Oxley/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Just one month remains for business owners and residents affected by extreme weather incidents in April to apply for disaster assistance loans with the United States Small Business Administration (SBA).

The SBA is currently accepting applications for its low-interest disaster loan, which can subsidize property and structure repair costs that are not already covered by insurance providers.

There is no application fee associated with the disaster loans, and applicants can choose to accept or deny the loans offered to them. The loans also do not accrue interest or have required payments for the first 12 months after they are granted.

Additionally, the SBA is accepting applications for its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.

Granted to private nonprofits and small businesses, these loans do not require proof of physical damages. Instead, the EIDL program grants participants a capital loan, which helps them cover operating expenses as they recover from disaster-related revenue loss.

While insurance coverage might affect the size of the loan applicants receive, Stephen Clark, public affairs specialist for the SBA, said resident and business owners should not hesitate to begin the application process.

“Disaster survivors should not wait to settle with their insurance company before applying,” he wrote in a Thursday email to West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

“If a survivor does not know how much of their loss will be covered by insurance or other sources, SBA can make a low-interest disaster loan for the total loss up to its loan limits, provided the borrower agrees to use insurance proceeds to reduce or repay the loan,” he said.

The deadline to apply for both loans is July 22.

Residents and businesses in 11 West Virginia counties — Boone, Cabell, Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, Marshall, Nicholas, Ohio, Putnam, Wayne and Wetzel counties — are eligible to apply for the loans.

With the approval of President Joe Biden, the April weather incidents were declared a major disaster for the 11 counties, opening them to federal disaster aid.

In addition to the SBA loans, residents, workers and businesses in these counties may also be eligible to apply for financial assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and WorkForce West Virginia.

A brick strip mall building with tall, glass-paned windows. Above one portion of the building reads the sign "WorkForce West Virginia." Above it is a green panel roof, and a clear blue sky.
Additional financial support for businesses and residents affected by April's severe weather is also available through WorkForce West Virginia.

Photo Credit: Jack Walker/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Residents and business owners can apply for the loans online at the SBA website.

For more information on the loan application process, prospective applicants can schedule an appointment at the SBA’s business recovery centers in the Charleston Area Alliance or the U.S. Army Reserve Center in Wheeling.

The SBA can also provide information on the loans over the phone at 1-800-659-2955, or via email at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Prospective applicants with speech or hearing accessibility needs can dial 7-1-1 for telecommunications relay services that can connect to the SBA service number.