DEO Press Releases

Governor DeSantis Announces U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loans Available to Residents Impacted by Southwest Florida Tornadoes

May 04, 2022


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) granted the State’s request for a Disaster Declaration, which makes disaster loans available to individuals and businesses impacted by the January 2022 Southwest Florida tornadoes. The Disaster Declaration provides additional relief in the form of low-interest loans to Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee counties.

This announcement follows the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) decision to deny FDEM’s appeal for Individual Assistance for disaster survivors. FEMA’s denial letter is available here.

“In January, I assured Southwest Florida residents that the State of Florida would identify all available forms of assistance to help their recovery efforts following the tornadoes,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “It’s a shame that after months of waiting for an appeal decision, the Biden Administration decided to deny Individual Assistance again to these disaster survivors. However, despite the federal government’s lack of support, the State of Florida will not let impacted residents suffer because of White House politics.”

The Disaster Loans available through this declaration include:

  • Business Physical Disaster Loans – Loans to businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery, and equipment. Businesses of any size are also eligible. Private, non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc., are also eligible.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) – Working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period.
  • Home Disaster Loans – Loans to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and personal property, including automobiles.

“In the last four months, the State of Florida has continuously prioritized the needs of disaster survivors in Charlotte and Lee counties,” said FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie. “We’ve worked to identify all available forms of assistance and this SBA Disaster Declaration is an additional tool that will supplement ongoing relief and recovery efforts in Southwest Florida.”

Disaster Loan applicants may apply online, or download the application, using the Electronic Loan Application through the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.SBA.gov.

Submit completed loan applications to the SBA no later than July 1, 2022, for Physical Disaster Loans, and February 2, 2023, for Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

For more information about the available disaster loans from the SBA, click here.

The State of Florida continues to raise additional relief funds through the Southwest Florida Tornado portal. Last week, FDEM distributed 66 additional relief funds to disaster survivors, totaling $660,000. In total, more than $1.09 million has been distributed through the portal to date.

The State of Florida is partnering with the Charlotte Community Foundation to collect and disburse donations for disaster survivors. All donations made through the FloridaDisaster.org/Assistance portal are tax deductible. 

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