SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Businesses and Residents of Massachusetts Affected by Severe Storms and Flooding

SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Businesses and Residents of Massachusetts Affected by Severe Storms and Flooding

Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available to businesses and residents in Massachusetts following the announcement of a Presidential disaster declaration due to severe storms and flooding that occurred on Sept. 11-13, 2023.

“SBA’s mission-driven team stands ready to help Massachusetts small businesses and residents impacted by this disaster in every way possible under President Biden’s disaster declaration for certain affected areas,” said SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman. “We’re committed to providing federal disaster loans swiftly and efficiently, with a customer-centric approach to help businesses and communities recover and rebuild.”

The disaster declaration covers Bristol and Worcester counties in Massachusetts, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs): Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk and Plymouth in Massachusetts; Tolland and Windham in Connecticut; Cheshire and Hillsborough in New Hampshire; and Bristol, Newport and Providence in Rhode Island.

Disaster survivors should not wait to settle with their insurance company before applying for a disaster loan. If a survivor does not know how much of their loss will be covered by insurance or other sources, SB 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.

Customer Service Representatives at SBA’s Business Recovery Centers will assist business owners complete their disaster loan application, accept documents, and provide updates on an application’s status. The Centers will operate as indicated below until further notice. Walk-ins are accepted, but you can schedule an in-person appointment at an SBA Disaster Recovery Center in advance.

Business Recovery Center (BRC) Worcester County
North Central Chamber of Commerce
860 South Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed: Saturday and Sunday
Business Recovery Center (BRC) Bristol County
Coyle Cassidy High School
2 Hamilton Street
Taunton, MA 02780
Opening: Tuesday, May 21, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Closed: Sunday

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Disaster loans up to $500,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $100,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates are as low as 4% for businesses, 2.375% for nonprofit organizations, and 2.5% for homeowners and renters, with terms of up to 30 years. Interest does not begin to accrue, and monthly payments are not due, until 12 months from the date of the initial disbursement. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Building back smarter and stronger can be an effective recovery tool for future disasters. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase of up to 20% of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future disasters.

“The opportunity to include measures to help prevent future damage from occurring is a significant benefit of SBA’s disaster loan program, said Francisco Sánchez, Jr., associate administrator for the Office of Disaster Recovery and Resilience at the Small Business Administration. “I encourage everyone to consult their contractors and emergency management mitigation specialists for ideas and apply for an SBA disaster loan increase for funding.” With the changes to FEMA’s Sequence of Delivery, survivors are now encouraged to simultaneously apply for FEMA grants and the SBA low-interest disaster loan assistance to fully recover. FEMA grants are intended to cover necessary expenses and serious needs not paid by insurance or other sources. The SBA disaster loan program is designed for your long-term recovery, to make you whole and get you back to your pre-disaster condition. Do not wait on the decision for a FEMA grant, apply online and receive additional disaster assistance information at sba.gov/disaster.

Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. For people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is July 15, 2024. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Feb. 18, 2025.

SBA Disaster Loans Fact Sheet (English) SBA Disaster Loans Fact Sheet (Spanish)