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Additional wildfire relief in Texas! Where to look for help when disaster strikes your small business.

Governor Perry’s Office announced today that FEMA has expanded its major disaster declaration to include 119 counties eligible for wildfire assistance and has also extended the incident period from April 6, 2011 to August 29, 2011.  This is great in that the city and county governments can seek reimbursement for up to 75% of eligible expenses related to the disaster.

But where do you look for help in your efforts to sustain your business during and after a disaster?

Once you’re area has been “declared” a disaster area, you may be eligible for one or more of the Small Business Association’s disaster loan programs:

  • Home & Personal Property Loans: If you are in a declared disaster area and are the victim of a disaster, you may be eligible for financial assistance – even if you don’t own a business.
  • Business Physical Disaster Loans: Any business or private, nonprofit organization that is located in a declared disaster area and has incurred damage during the disaster may apply for a loan (up to $2 million) to help replace damaged property or restore it to the condition it was in before the disaster.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Loan available for businesses that are unable to obtain credit elsewhere and that were damaged economically, but not physically, by the disaster.  The loan is capped at $2 million and is intended to allow you to maintain a reasonable working capital position during the period affected by the disaster.  Although this may not be available for an after-the-fact declaration or if you’ve resumed normal business operations, it is important to keep in mind if you’re in a disaster prone area (the Gulf Coast, susceptible to wildfires, extreme drought . . . you know, Texas!).

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