RALEIGH Oct 15, 2018 As North Carolina’s strong and coordinated response to Hurricane Florence recovery continues, Governor Roy Cooper today encouraged small business owners harmed by the storm to access loans and other programs that can help. The N.C. Department of Commerce and the Small Business Technology Development Center have partnered with state and federal organizations to compile resources for businesses affected by the storm. Assistance includes help with developing recovery strategies as well as access to capital needed to support immediate cleanup costs and longer-term recovery from physical damage and economic losses. “Small businesses are the economic engine for our local communities. Business owners face more than physical damage to their place of work after a storm like Hurricane Florence, and we are working to simplify the recovery process so businesses can get relief quickly and efficiently,” Governor Roy Cooper said. North Carolina small businesses affected by the storm can find a comprehensive list of resources and guidance at sbtdc.org/hurricaneflorence. The website outlines first steps that businesses should take for recovery, starting with filing an insurance claim and registering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA registration is the first step on the track to many forms of recovery funding, so it is important that businesses register as soon as possible, either online or at a FEMA/Small Business Administration center. Counseling and guidance for businesses is available at SBTDC office, Disaster Recovery Centers, and SBA Recovery Centers, all listed on the website. Business owners and other company leaders can also talk with an experienced business counselor at Business Link North Carolina (BLNC), the state's hotline for information and resource referrals, including storm recovery resources. The counselors are available toll-free at (800) 228-8443, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. Businesses can find a list of disaster assistance types available in disaster declared counties, including: Hurricane Florence Rapid Recovery Loan Short-term, no-interest loans intended to bridge the gap between the time a major catastrophe occurs and when a business has secured other resources like insurance proceeds or SBA disaster loans. Get more information on the Hurricane Florence Rapid Recovery Loan. SBA Business Physical Disaster Loans Loans to businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery and equipment. Businesses of any size as well as private, non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc., are eligible. Get more information on Business Physical Disaster Loans. SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) Working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period. Get more information on Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Disaster Unemployment Assistance Workers who became unemployed as a direct result of the effects of Hurricane Florence impacting North Carolina, may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits under the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program. Business owners affected by the storm may also qualify for benefits. Get more information on Disaster Unemployment Assistance. Disaster Recovery Contracting Opportunities Disaster recovery operations need vendors that can clear debris, provide facility support services, furnish necessary supplies, and much more. Different aspects of the recovery operations may be led by the federal government through FEMA, state government emergency response programs, city or county emergency response programs, or non-profit organizations like the American Red Cross. Partners participating in this comprehensive resource include the SBTDC and N.C. Commerce, the Small Business Center Network run out of N.C. Community Colleges, the N.C. Rural Center and Thread Capital, the U.S. Small Business Administration, FEMA and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C.