DeSantis Announces Disaster Loans for Residents After Southwest FL Tornadoes, Calls Out Biden for FEMA Denial

By Lydia Nusbaum, Florida's Voice

May 4, 2022 Updated 12:54 PM ET

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May 4, 2022 Updated 12:54 P.M. ET

TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – Gov. Ron DeSantis announced residents and businesses hurt by the January 2022 Southwest Florida tornadoes can receive disaster loans. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration granted Florida’s request for a Disaster Declaration to provide residents with the disaster loans. 

This announcement follows the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) decision under the Joe Biden Administration to deny the state’s appeal for Individual Assistance for disaster survivors.

“In January, I assured Southwest Florida residents that the State of Florida would identify all available forms of assistance to help their recovery efforts following the tornadoes,” DeSantis said.

“It’s a shame that after months of waiting for an appeal decision, the Biden Administration decided to deny Individual Assistance again to these disaster survivors. However, despite the federal government’s lack of support, the State of Florida will not let impacted residents suffer because of White House politics.”

The Disaster Loans available through this declaration include:

  • Business Physical Disaster Loans – Loans to businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery, and equipment. Businesses of any size are also eligible. Private, non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc., are also eligible.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) – Working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period.
  • Home Disaster Loans – Loans to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and personal property, including automobiles.

“In the last four months, the State of Florida has continuously prioritized the needs of disaster survivors in Charlotte and Lee counties,” said FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie. “We’ve worked to identify all available forms of assistance and this SBA Disaster Declaration is an additional tool that will supplement ongoing relief and recovery efforts in Southwest Florida.”

People applying for a Disaster Loan can apply at DisasterLoan.SBA.gov. The deadline for completed loan applications to the SBA is no later than July 1, 2022 for Physical Disaster Loans, and February 2, 2023, for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. 

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