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Feds declare Buffalo Christmas Blizzard a major disaster: what that means for WNY businesses.

Governor Kathy Hochul issued a statement on Twitter this week that President Biden has approved a Major Disaster Declaration for the Christmas Blizzard that crippled Buffalo for over a week. This is welcome relief for not only individuals and local governments, but for businesses impacted as well. 

The SBA is making low interest disaster loans available for both physical damage and economic injury. Key terms of these loans are as follows:

Interest rates

Physical Disaster Loans:

Loan Types No Credit Available
Credit Available
Home Loans 2.313% 4.625%
Business Loans 3.305% 6.610%
Non-Profit Organizations 2.375% 2.375%

Economic Injury Loans:

Loan Types No Credit Available
Credit Available
Businesses & Small Agricultural Cooperatives 3.305% N/A
Non-Profit Organizations 2.375%


Loan terms are up to 30 years though businesses with credit available elsewhere will be limited to 7 year terms. Applicants must have a sufficient credit history and show an ability to repay the loans. Collateral is required for physical loss loans over $14,000 and all EIDL loans over $25,000.

Loan limits:

Physical damage business Loans are limited $2,000,000 for the repair or replacement of real estate, inventories, machinery, equipment and all other physical losses. The actual loan amount cannot exceed the verified uninsured disaster loss.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL loans) are limited to $2,000,000. The actual loan amount is limited to the economic injury determined by SBA, less business interruption
insurance and other recoveries up to the administrative lending limit. 

There will be a cap of $2,000,000 for total loans a business may receive (both physical damage and EIDL). 

Further information:

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at Applicants  may  also  call  SBA’s Customer Service Center at  (800) 659-2955 or email for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

The local SBA office has two Outreach Centers available to assist individuals through the application process in person: 

Erie County Training & Operations Center
3359 Broadway
Cheektowaga, NY 14227

Delavan Grider Community Center
877 E. Delavan Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14215

@POTUS has approved a Major Disaster Declaration to unlock additional federal funds to support our efforts to help New Yorkers recover from the historic Christmas blizzard. Extremely grateful to President Biden & the New York Delegation for this step to help our communities.