Flood Assistance - Local Businesses

South Carolina endured a record, one-thousand year rainfall leading to widespread destruction and flooding that continues to impact our community.  My thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy, and all the families affected by the devastating effects of the flood. I am grateful for the strength of the people of South Carolina, led by Governor Nikki Haley and Adjutant General Bob Livingston. 

Small businesses were seriously affected by the flooding, and many of you who own or work for a small business may have some questions about recovery efforts available to you.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and employ almost half of our state’s workforce. Small businesses are vital to South Carolina’s communities and it is vital that we keep them open for business, even in times of hardship and devastation.  

The state of South Carolina has received a major federal disaster declaration.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can provide personal assistance to those who have had their homes and vehicles damaged.  To apply for assistance please visit the FEMA website:www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is our nation’s disaster relief bank, and can offer you low-interest loans for repairs to damages incurred as a result of the flooding. 

They provide three types of loans: 

  1. Business Physical Disaster Loans to repair or replace disaster damaged property owned by businesses.This includes all property, supplies, and equipment and is available to all businesses big or small as well as charities, churches and other not for profit organizations. 
  2. Economy Injury Disaster Loans are working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperates, and most private, non-profit organizations who cannot meet their credit requirements due to the disaster. 
  3. Home disaster loans for homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster damages real estate.

To contact the SBA please call 1 800-659-2955 or via email at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.  For more information visit their website: www.sba.gov/disaster.   

Small businesses may also benefit from Disaster Unemployment Assistance. This assistance provides relief for small business owners, individuals, and people who are self-employed whose employment has been lost or interrupted due to the flooding. Contact the Department of Employment and Workforce for additional information or to apply for relief. 

Finally, Businesses and individuals are eligible for some tax relief from the IRS. If your family or business had an October 15, 2015, tax-return filing deadline, you are automatically granted an extension until February of next year. 

If your family or business had an October 1, 2015, deadline for payments to the IRS, you now have until October 16, 2015, to make payments without any penalty.

Other available relief includes claiming disaster-related losses on income tax returns, and waived fees when requesting past tax returns. 

If you have any questions about the tax relief available to you, please contact the IRS disaster hotline at: 1-866-562-5227.  

Please do not hesitate to contact the Congressional office if you have any further questions or need assistance with this process. The contact number is 803-939-0041.  

I feel blessed to be a part of the wonderful community in South Carolina’s Second District, and I am so grateful to witness the strength and hard work of our first responders, state employees and countless volunteers.  Everywhere I visited in the Midlands, whether it was an emergency management division, disaster assistance center,  a shelter or a neighborhood ravaged by floodwaters, there were men, women, and children volunteering their time and resources to help others.