Montana is no stranger to disasters, both natural and man-made. The state has a long history of natural disasters, including floods, wildfires, tornadoes, and drought. The recent flooding near Yellowstone National Park is an example of this problem. It’s more important now for residents and small businesses to remember that the best course of action to limit damage from natural disasters is to prepare before disaster strikes.
The Biden administration and SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman have been at the forefront of ensuring that small businesses, nonprofits, and individual landlords and tenants impacted by natural disasters across the country are getting the support and recovery assistance they need, and the tools to build resilience.
Natural disasters are not only more devastating; they also happen faster, more frequently, and often change rapidly in complexity and scope. In 2020, the United States suffered twenty-two separate billion-dollar disasters – the largest in our history – but space experts expect that number to continue to rise. As the anchors of our communities, small businesses rely on resilient neighborhoods for their customers and employees, and SBA disaster relief loan programs help communities recover quickly.
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• The SBA Disaster Loan Program is the only federal assistance program that provides private homeowners with an affordable way to lessen the impacts of disasters and protect their homes, families, businesses, employees and livelihoods against the next disaster.
• SBA disaster loan funds can be used to cover insurance deductibles, refinance an existing mortgage, pay for mitigation and protection upgrades, relocate to a safer, lower-risk area, and Moreover. These loans have fixed interest rates amortized over 30 years for low monthly payments and provide an affordable way for homeowners to fully repair/replace their disaster losses not covered by other resources.
• Borrowers using SBA’s physical disaster loan programs are also eligible for up to 20% of their total physical losses, as verified by the SBA, to incorporate additional safeguards to mitigate future damage and loss against the next disaster.
• The SBA offers non-pandemic economic disaster loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private nonprofit organizations in a declared disaster area rebuild after suffering a loss. substantial.
• The SBA has several local partner resources to help business owners develop a disaster continuity plan, whether your business is in disaster relief, recovery, or continuity. Across Montana, there are more than fifteen resource partner offices, including Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, a Veterans Awareness Center, and a Women’s Business Center to help you plan for your disaster.
The best way to mitigate the effects of a disaster is to create a disaster continuity plan. This plan should outline how you will contact family, friends, employees and first responders after a disaster. You should also review your insurance coverage to ensure it is up to date and covers all necessary costs. Most importantly, practice and evaluate your plan with family members, managers, and staff to make sure it works. For more information about SBA’s disaster programs, please visit sba.gov/disaster and be sure to follow us on Twitter @SBArockymtn.
Aikta Marcoulier is the SBA’s regional administrator based in Denver. She oversees agency programs and services in Colorado, Montana, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.