Sara Routhier, Managing Editor of Features and Outreach, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming worl...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Feb 5, 2013

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The SBA announced that it has approved over $1 billion worth of disaster loans for small businesses in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. It has been nearly 90 days since Sandy devastated the East Coast, crushing tens of thousands of small businesses and affecting the lives of millions.

“At this point, businesses are still in the early stages of recovery. Overall, it’s only been three months. This devastation was quite extensive physically and economically,” said Carol Chastang, Media Contact for the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

The SBA reached the billion dollar milestone following the passing of emergency legislation from Congress that will put an additional $799 million towards disaster assistance programs.

According to an SBA press release from SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills, the SBA pledges to continue cooperating with local and federal forces in order to rebuild. It will prioritize getting funds into the hands of affected individuals and businesses. The SBA considers congress’s fund appropriation to be a much needed step in helping the SBA achieve its objective.

“A lot of these businesses, particularly smaller businesses, were involved in retail work, making plans and looking forward to the holiday season. None of these businesses were able to rebound in time. They were all hit really hard again,” said Chastang.

The SBA intends to use more than half of the funds towards low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses. Additional funds will be put towards other disaster loan origination and servicing. Only a small amount will be given to the SBA’s resource partners who provide assistance to businesses that are still rebuilding.

The SBA considers Hurricane Sandy’s devastation to be the third largest disaster in US history. The other two worst disasters being Hurricane Katrina/Rita/Wilma and the Northridge earthquake.

Of all of the states that have requested these SBA disaster loans for businesses, two have the distinction of having borrowed the most.

“New York has borrowed the most loans and New Jersey is behind that,” said Chastang.

According to Chastang, 558 business disaster loans valued at $56.6 million were approved for New York, while New Jersey has seen 347 business disaster loans valued at $36 million.