Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today announced the establishment of an emergency loan fund in the amount of $1 million to assist Rhode Island businesses that have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. The loans are being made available through the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation's (RIEDC) Small Business Loan Fund. The Small Business Loan Fund Corporation Board of Directors approved the measure to set aside the storm assistance funding at a special meeting held today.
"I have traveled to the hardest-hit areas of Rhode Island over the course of this week, and have talked to many business owners who were affected by Hurricane Sandy," Governor Chafee said. "The state is committed to mobilizing resources and finding solutions to help both business and workers who have suffered a loss in this storm. Yesterday, we announced that Rhode Island workers unemployed due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy may be able to waive their one-week waiting period for benefits. Today, we are establishing this emergency fund to aid small businesses. Rhode Island did an outstanding job pulling together during Sandy, and now we are bringing that same commitment to the recovery process."
The funds announced today are available as working capital to help Rhode Island businesses that have experienced disruptions to their operations due to the storm.
Any existing Rhode Island manufacturers, retailers and selected service businesses directly impacted by Hurricane Sandy are eligible for loans from a minimum of $10,000 up to $25,000 at fixed interest rates from 2.5 percent to 4 percent, depending on the amount and term of the loan. The terms of the loans range from one year to up to five years.
The RIEDC's storm assistance loans are only available to businesses. Residential properties and individuals are not eligible.
To qualify for loans, businesses must supply evidence of damage sustained from Hurricane Sandy or business interruption caused by the storm. Businesses must also show that they have adequate insurance to cover storm damage and meet other minimum lending requirements.
Rhode Island businesses interested in more information about a storm assistance loan may contact the RIEDC's Finance Department at 401-278-9100.