Communities across the Carolinas continue to struggle in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, which has brought an estimated $1.5 billion in damage to homes, businesses, and government buildings in North Carolina alone. Flooding continues even over a week after the storm subsided, with rivers and waterways rising in both states, leaving many families and individuals displaced and unable to return home.

For small businesses, natural disasters can be particularly devastating. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), almost 40 percent of businesses never reopen after a natural disaster. Even just a few inches of water can be disastrous, let alone the over 18 inches dumped by Hurricane Matthew. The toll on local small businesses, of course, includes the damage to businesses themselves, but as CBS News reports, businesses could also face contingent business interruption. This means that even if a business does not have to close, it may be impacted by other businesses, such as suppliers, that have had to close.

At Carolina Small Business, we don’t want to see our local small businesses close their doors for lack of access to resources. Thanks to a $1 million grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation, Carolina Small Business is providing short-term loans through our Emergency Bridge Loan Program to small businesses and farms recovering from damages suffered during Hurricane Matthew. The program’s purpose is to provide these small businesses working capital to fill the gap until longer-term substantial resources are received to assist in their resumption of normal business operations. As the businesses await additional financial resources, the program will provide zero-interest loans (0% APR) with terms from 90 to 180 days.

Small businesses with 1 to 100 employees located in the 52 counties affected by Hurricane Matthew can apply for loans for up to $15,000. Applications may be submitted through December 12, 2016. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to October 4, 2016, and demonstrate economic or physical damage as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

Join the effort:

Carolina Small Business has boots on the ground in the affected areas, and we are working with statewide partners to reach impacted small businesses. The loan applications have started coming in. We expect that over the next several weeks, the demand for emergency bridge loans will be greater than the award we received to fund these loans. We are reaching out to our CDFI partners to join us in the recovery effort by contributing to our Emergency Loan Program. Hurricane Matthew left a wake of devastation, which will have ripple effects on businesses and communities throughout the region. Your support will help us ensure that small businesses are able to recover, rebuild, and continue making contributions to our communities.

Donate:

To make a contribution to support the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, please visit https://carolinasmallbusiness.org/give

Additional Resources:

We have also compiled a directory of resources and local support organizations that can provide assistance, which can be found here. In addition, feel free to contact us at disasterrelief@carolinasmallbusiness.org. Even if businesses are not applying for a loan with us, we are glad to help in any way we can.

Learn more about our Disaster Relief Program.

 

 

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