SBA field office assists in recovery

The U.S. Small Business Administration has opened a Business Recovery Center on Saipan to help local businesses and entrepreneurs that were heavily impacted by the onslaught by Super Typhoon Yutu last month.

The BRC will be located at the Saipan Chamber of Commerce office at the Marianas Business Plaza (formerly Nauru Building) in Susupe.

The SBA office begins its operations yesterday and will be open Monday to Saturday, from 8am to 4pm.

Tanya N. Garfield, the SBA Disaster Field Operations Center-West director, said the BRC would provide low-interest loans services to businesses to help them recover from Super Typhoon Yutu.

“Due to the severe property damage and economic losses Yutu inflicted on Saipan businesses, we want to provide available service to help get them back on their feet. The center will provide a one-stop location for businesses to access a variety of specialized help.”

“SBA customer service representatives will be available to meet individually with each business owner. No appointment is necessary. All services are provided free of charge,” added Garfield.

She assured that SBA is also helping those affected by Typhoon Mangkhut, which hit Rota on Sept. 10; Yutu pummeled Saipan and Tinian on the late night of Oct. 24 and the early morning of Oct. 25. President Trump has approved two separate disaster declarations for the CNMI.

Garfield said that SBA representatives would explain to business owners about their disaster loans. “They will answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each business owner complete their electronic loan application.”

Small businesses and medium-sized enterprises, and private and nonprofit organizations may avail of up to $2 million to use for their repair or replacement of damaged or destroyed properties.

The properties may include real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory of products and goods, and other business assets. These loans would cover the losses that are nor covered by insurance.

Small businesses, agricultural cooperatives, those involved in aquaculture, private and nonprofit groups could also avail of SBA’s economic injury disaster loans to give them working capital following a disaster. The assistance is available regardless if the business suffered any damage to their property or not.

Business owners that could not visit the field recovery center could log on and apply to disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or visit the SBA’s website, sba.gov/disaster or call its customer service center at (800) 6592955 or email at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information.

Businesses and residents affected by Typhoon Mangkhut have until Nov. 28, 2018, to submit their applications for property damage while economic injury applications for businesses is due by July 1, 2019.

As for Typhoon Yutu victims with property damage, both business and residents, they have until Dec. 26, 2018, to submit their loan applications while for businesses who want to avail of economic injury loans will have a July 26, 2019, deadline.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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