See what’s available when disaster loan outreach and business recovery center opens for Orange

Published 12:30 am Saturday, March 25, 2023

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Orange County businesses and residents impacted by severe storms and tornadoes in January can soon get firsthand assistance in securing Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.

The SBA is opening a disaster loan outreach and business recovery center to assist businesses and residents affected by the severe storms.

The center is located at the Orange County Convention and Expo Center, 11475-B FM 1442 in Orange.

A roof sits on a yard in Orangefield following a tornado strike in January. (Mary Meaux/The Leader)

It opens Monday and stays open through April 1.

Weekday hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Saturday hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West said customer service representatives would be on hand answering questions about a disaster loan program, explain the application process and help applicants complete electronic loan applications.

No appointment is necessary.

SBA customer service representatives may also refer small business owners to the Texas Small Business Development Center advisors, who can provide assistance on a variety of matters to re-establish operations, overcome the effects of the disaster and plan for the future.

“Services include assessing business working capital needs, evaluating the business strength, cash flow projections and most importantly, a review of options with the business owner to help them evaluate their alternatives and make decisions that are appropriate for their situation,” said Herbert Hildebrand, director of the San Jacinto College Small Business Development Center.

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.

SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.