SBA Isn’t Just for Businesses; Seeks to Help in Tornado Relief


Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available to businesses and residents in Ohio following the announcement of a Presidential disaster declaration due to tornadoes that occurred on March 14.

“SBA’s mission-driven team stands ready to help Ohio 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 Auglaize, Crawford, Darke, Delaware, Hancock, Licking, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Richland, and Union counties in Ohio, 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): Allen, Ashland,  Champaign, Clark, Coshocton, Fairfield, Franklin, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Knox, Madison, Marion,  Montgomery, Morrow, Muskingum, Perry, Preble, Putnam, Seneca, Shelby, VanWert, Wood and Wyandot in Ohio; and Adams, Jay, Wayne and Randolph in Indiana.

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, 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. Customer Service Representatives at SBA’s Business Recovery Center will assist business owners complete their disaster loan applications, accept documents for existing applications, and provide updates on an application’s status.

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, 3.25% for nonprofit organizations, and 2.688% 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.”

Residents and business owners may apply in person at the Disaster Recovery (DRC) and Business Recovery Center (BRC) whose locations are provided below, as well as online via MySBA Loan Portal.

They are there at both centers to assist affected residents and business owners with on-site Customer Service Representatives who are available for those who have exhausted their insurance benefits or personal resources but have an ongoing need to rebuild and get back to normal. Both centers assist residents and business owners alike.

  • FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC): Galilee Lutheran Church, 301 Lincoln Blvd, Russells Point, OH 43348. Hours: Mondays – Saturdays, 7:30 am – 5:00 pm. Closes permanently July 1st at 4:00 pm.
  • Business Recovery Center (BRC): Indian Lakes Community Church, 120 Orchard Island Road, Russells Point, OH 43348. Hours: Mondays – Fridays, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, Saturdays, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Closes Permanently July 1st at 4:00 pm.

Logan County businesses, while they may not have sustained physical damage, are in the “zone of economic impact” following such a disaster.

In the years following rebuilding from natural disasters, we see a recurring phenomenon wherein the small businesses in the impacted areas take a financial hit causing sometimes cascading negative effects on the local economies.

To support local business owners during these times, the SBA has a program to provide funds in the form of low-interest and long-term loans to carry them during the rebuild period via the EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) Program.

This program’s deadline is February 3rd, 2025 and businesses may apply in person through July 1st, 2024 at the DRC and BRC whose locations are provided above, as well as online via MySBA Loan Portal through that February 3rd deadline.