Florida businesses and residents impacted by a March 12 EF-1 tornado can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) after a SBA disaster declaration request was granted for Marion County and the adjacent counties of Alachua, Citrus, Lake, Levy, Putnam, Sumter, and Volusia.
Gov. Ron DeSantis requested the assistance after declaring a state of emergency in in Clay, Highlands, Marion and Putnam counties.
“Getting small businesses back on their feet following a disaster is important to a fast recovery for impacted communities,” DeSantis said. “This assistance will put cash in the hands of small business owners and residents and help them rebuild stronger.”
On March 12, a cold front ushered in severe weather across Northeast and Central Florida including heavy rain, thunderstorms, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes, all of which caused power outages and structural damages.
The National Weather Service Jacksonville reported that an EF-1 tornado, with estimated peak wind speeds of 110 mph, was 200 yards wide and traveled roughly 25 miles from Dunnellon to Ocala over 28 minutes. It damaged several buildings and vehicles and no fatalities or injuries were reported.
The Putnam County Emergency Management Office posted photos of the damage caused by the tornado after it moved through south of Crescent City. “The tornado was on the ground for about 5.3 miles,” it reported. “While there was damage to trees, power lines, and some buildings, no injuries were reported.”
The Florida Division of Emergency Management has been coordinating with local emergency management offices to support recovery efforts.
Three SBA loans are available through the disaster declaration: Business Physical Disaster Loans (BPDL), Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Home Disaster Loans (HDL).
The BPDL helps businesses repair or replace disaster-damaged property, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery, and equipment. Businesses of any size and private, non-profit organizations, including charities, churches, private universities, among others, can apply. The deadline to submit applications is May 27.
EIDL provides working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes. The deadline to submit applications is Dec. 28.
HDLs are available to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and personal property, including automobiles.
Applicants may apply online, or download the application at DisasterLoan.SBA.gov. Eligibility information is available in a fact sheet, by calling the SBA at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for deaf and hard-of-hearing) or emailing [email protected].
This article was originally posted on Florida businesses, residents impacted by March tornado can apply for low-interest disaster loans