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SBA approves over $139 million in loans to aid Maui wildfires victims

October 10, 2023
Maui Wildfire

Maui, Hawaii: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has confirmed the approval of more than $139 million in disaster assistance loans for businesses, nonprofits, and residents affected by the Maui wildfires.

This comes as a response to the ongoing efforts to aid those impacted by the devastating fires that have plagued the region.

SBA’s role in the Maui wildfire relief

The loans have been divided, with businesses receiving $40,620,400 and residents being granted $98,615,000 to assist in rebuilding and recovering from the aftermath of the fires.

Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, of the SBA, remarked on the organization’s commitment: “The SBA, as a part of President Biden’s whole-of-government approach, has committed support to ensure the community of Lahaina can recover after the devastating fires.”

She further emphasized the SBA’s continuous presence and efforts: “Nearly two months after the wildfires began, we remain on the ground in full force: opening new centers, increasing staff assistance, and expanding disaster relief to small businesses impacted by the drop in tourism.”

The SBA has been actively involved, providing individualized help to those applying for disaster loans.

They have been functioning through federal-state Disaster Recovery Centers, SBA Business Recovery Centers, and other specialized outreach hubs.

Their primary aim is to ensure clarity about the loan process and assist both business owners and residents in securing their approved disaster loans.

Loan details and further assistance

Businesses, regardless of their size, as well as private nonprofit organizations, are eligible to borrow up to $2 million.

These funds can be used to mend or replace real estate, machinery, inventory, and other crucial business assets.

The SBA is also focusing on the future, offering additional loans to support businesses and residents in making enhancements that deter similar disaster damages.

Furthermore, the SBA has introduced Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

These are designed for small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations to help meet working capital needs triggered by the wildfires, even if they haven’t suffered property damage.

For homeowners, loans up to $500,000 are accessible for the repair or replacement of damaged property.

Homeowners and renters can also avail up to $100,000 for personal property damages.

The loans come with varying interest rates: businesses at 4%, private nonprofits at 2.375%, and homeowners and renters at 2.5%.

These loans, determined based on the applicant’s financial situation, offer terms up to 30 years, with a grace period of 12 months before interest accrual and repayment begins.

Upcoming deadlines and application process

Affected businesses and residents in Maui County are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency here before the November 9, 2023, cutoff.

For economic injury loans, businesses and nonprofits in all five counties of Hawaii should apply here by May 10, 2024.

For additional details, application downloads, or to apply online, individuals can visit the SBA’s official page or contact their Customer Service Center.

FSJA Comment

The proactive and comprehensive approach of the SBA in the wake of the Maui wildfires is noteworthy.

By offering a wide range of loans to both businesses and residents, they’re facilitating a faster and more effective recovery process.

As a publication focusing on fire and safety, witnessing such extensive support for victims reiterates the importance of collaborative efforts in disaster management.

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