Disaster Bill to Aid Small Businesses

May 4, 1999

Disaster Bill to Aid Small Businesses

A bill signed last week by President Clinton will help small businesses protect themselves against floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters.

The Disaster Mitigation Pilot Program, a four-year U.S. Small Business Administration pilot program, provides up to $50,000 in loans to small business owners whose communities are prone to such disasters. Businesses located in the 118 cities participating in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's "Project Impact" will be eligible for the loans beginning in October 1999. They can use the funds to take preventative measures against damage, such as installing fireproof roof shingles or hurricane shutters.

"The cost of rebuilding after disasters continues to rise, and many small business owners never recover," says Aida Alvarez, administrator of the SBA, in a release. "Now these entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to protect their investment before a disaster strikes."

To find out if your community is part of FEMA's "Project Impact," visit the agency's Web site at www.fema.gov/impact/cities/.

- by Stacey King