Less than 90 days after Hurricane Sandy struck, the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than $1.1 billion in disaster loans to 16,800 residents and businesses in the federally declared states affected by the storm. This milestone comes as Congress passed emergency legislation that will add $799 million to SBA’s disaster assistance program budget to help meet the demand for loans from Hurricane Sandy and future disasters.
“Getting money into the hands of individuals and businesses in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy continues to be one of our top priorities,” said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills. “My pledge to those affected by the hurricane is that SBA, working together with our local and federal partners, will help you rebuild. I am pleased Congress took the important step of appropriating much-needed funds to help us keep our promise.”
Here’s how the supplemental appropriations will be used:
In terms of SBA disaster lending, Hurricane Sandy is the third largest disaster in U.S. history, followed by Hurricanes Katrina/Rita/Wilma (Aug./Sept. 2005, $10.8 billion) and the Northridge (CA) earthquake (Jan. 1994, $4 billion). The SBA currently has a disaster staff of 2,400 supporting the Hurricane Sandy response in seven states (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina) and Puerto Rico, as well as assisting in recovery efforts for other disasters nationwide.