Almost 40 percent of businesses never reopen after a disaster, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
While repairing and rebuilding can be costly and difficult, local and state resources are providing assistance for small business owners to help them rebuild and recover after Hurricane Florence.
Here are some resources that can come in handy for business owners.
U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION – WILMINGTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The SBA opened a Business Recovery Center at the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, One Estelle Lee Place. There are SBA representatives at the center who can provide information about disaster loans, answer questions and assist businesses in completing the SBA application. The center is open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
The SBA offers low-interest, long-term disaster loans for physical damage and working capital. Business owners not able to go to the center can apply online via DisasterLoan.sba.gov.
Call the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 (for the deaf and hard-of-hearing (800) 877-8339) or email [email protected]
for more details on the loan application process.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Nov. 13. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 14.
SMALL BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT CENTER
The counseling staff at the SBTDC at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, 803 S. College Road, can help business owners with assessing the financial impact on their business, reconstruct financial statements, explore options with creditors, prepare emergency bridge loan and/or SBA disaster loan applications.
The office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
The nonprofit subsidiary of the Rural Center is providing rapid recovery loans of up to $50,000 to small businesses and family farms. The loans are not a primary source of assistance for small businesses, and eligibility for funding is dependent on the use of other funding sources, including SBA loans.
Go to threadcap.org/florence
to learn more or apply online.
ADAM SHAY CPA PLLC
The accounting and business services office is hosting free business roundtables for business owners to discuss things they are doing and could be doing to survive the economic impacts of Hurricane Florence. The roundtables will be hosted throughout the next couple of months. Email r[email protected]
N.C DIVISION OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY
Business owners in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties are eligible for disaster unemployment assistance. Those who are self-employed and have lost income due to Hurricane Florence; became injured during the disaster and were unable to work; or could not reach their self-employed business due to travel affected by the disaster could be eligible for assistance.
The easiest way to file a claim is online at des.nc.gov/des. Claims can also be filled by phone at (866) 795-8877.
NEW HANOVER COUNTY
The county’s Building Safety Department is issuing emergency repair permits at no charge through Nov. 30. Permits are required for electrical, mechanical and plumbing work. Emergency permits can be submitted by emailing project address, contractor name and phone number, contact name and phone number, scope of work and information on inspection readiness to [email protected]
Permits can also be acquired at 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 170 and 1121 N. Lake Park Blvd., Carolina Beach, or by phone at 798-7304.
N.C. ARTS COUNCIL
The council has a page dedicated to resources available to artists impacted by the disaster at ncarts.org/Florence.
One resource is the Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF), which provides emergency grants and loans to craft artists. To be eligible, artists must work in a craft discipline and have an art career where they get the majority of their livelihood from. To learn more or apply go to cerfplus.org