SBA, IRS Helping Businesses Hurt By Sandy

Carol Chastang, press liaison for the SBA, says anyone can apply for these loans—you don't have to be a small business owner, nor do you have to own a building or a home; renters are eligible; so, too, are non-profits. Of the several kinds of loans available, some cover damages to structures and property, others are meant to supply funds for payroll and other operating costs. Borrowers, depending on their financial health, can get up to 30 years to repay. The loans are the same kind as were offered after hurricanes Irene and Katrina.

Chastang says the SBA is offering other forms of help besides money: Business owners can go to SBA Small Business Development centers, housed in local universities, to get help formulating recovery plans, recruiting new staff, and taking steps to insure they will be better protected from future disasters.

The IRS also is offering relief. Under certain circumstances, affected business owners will be given additional time to file returns and pay taxes. The service also provides advice on reconstructing lost or damaged business records. Its Publication 2194, a Disaster Resource Guide for Individuals and Businesses, contains forms to help filers claim casualty losses on property destroyed by a natural disaster.

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