SBA back to sign up more for disaster assistance

Published 7:10 pm Monday, November 12, 2018

The U.S. Small Business Administration is back in Beaufort County for a second round of hurricane assistance.

There could be more assistance to be had for the 2,000-plus Beaufort County residents who registered with FEMA after Hurricane Florence hit on Sept. 14, and registering with the SBA is the key to finding it, said Lisa Williams, a specialist with Beaufort County Emergency Services.

Only 163 people of the county’s 2,000 FEMA registrants also registered with SBA, though registering for both provides more assistance opportunities, she said.

“What we did was called SBA, and we asked them to come back to Beaufort County,” Williams said.

Starting today, an SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center will open at the Beaufort County Emergency Services Office in Washington. An SBA representative will be available able to help people with the SBA application, provide information about disaster loans and answer any questions.

Williams encouraged anyone who registered with FEMA after Hurricane Florence to make sure they also sign up with SBA, whether assistance is needed with a business or home.

“I want the citizens of this community to sit down one more time, sit down with people face to face,” Williams said. “If they didn’t apply with SBA, this is their chance to do it. If they did apply or they were denied, or they have questions and they’re looking for answers, this is the last chance.”

Williams said the reason people should apply for both is there are situations in which initial FEMA applications could be denied. If so, there’s the opportunity to apply for disaster assistance through SBA. But if an SBA application is denied, then more opportunities for assistance become available back with FEMA.

“Even if you are not eligible for SBA assistance, then it opens up more doors for you for more FEMA assistance,” Williams said.

The SBA representative will be at the BCES office from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via the SBA’s secure website at, according to an SBA press release. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 13. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 14, 2019.