This article is specifically for business owners who have applied and are currently awaiting disaster relief funding from FEMA or the Small Business Administration.
If you haven’t applied for assistance yet, here are some resources for you:
SBA Federal Disaster Loans for Businesses, Private Nonprofits, Homeowners, and Renters
Business Physical Disaster Loan
Economic Injury Disaster Loan
Visit DisasterAssistance.gov to apply for assistance online. If you have trouble applying online, you may also call (800) 621-3362 / TTY (800) 462-7585 to apply during standard hours of operation (7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time), 7 days a week.
Here is a list of information you need to apply:
- Social Security number
- Address of the location where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address)
- Current mailing address
- Current telephone number
- Insurance information
- Total household annual income
- Routing and account number for your checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into your bank account).
- A description of your disaster-caused damage and losses
Dealing with Delayed Funding
After the FEMA/SBA Disaster application has been submitted, it enters a review process which can often occur in 24 hours. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning of the funding process as business owners will then need to wait for an official inspection and following that an approval process. While improved technology and response time continue to improve the turnaround time, business owners often must wait between 10-24 days (often 24 days represents the best of cases).
So, what options are available to the business owner who could be up and running, generating revenue, and beginning the process of recovery but lacks the cash to make repairs, purchase supplies, or meet payroll until their government assistance arrives?
Often business owners are quick to find that their bank is unable to assist. Those business owners who can secure a loan through their bank, will often find their situation has not improved as much as they’d hoped. Bank loans often carry with them the requirement of a guarantee on the part of the business owner, and the cash can still be weeks away from appearing in their account. As a result, many owners will look to tap either their own cash reserves, or leverage what personal credit they have access to. Considering the situation that drove them to applying for the FEMA loan, this solution can exacerbate an already stressful time. Business owners find themselves forced to make difficult decisions between allocating their remaining resources to their business or their family.
Providers such as Reliant Funding offer an alternative. With no personal guarantee, these business funding solutions allow owners the capital they need to get their business up and running again as quickly as possible.
These government assistance programs provide an opportunity for businesses to get the funds they need to make themselves whole. But when the the delay between application and cash results in the business suffering or even worse, finding an alternative that gets the business up and running is of the utmost importance. While each individual business owner must determine which option works best for their particular needs, alternative funding options offer a unique tool to assist in getting businesses back on top.