Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Praises SBA for Disaster Declaration

Sep 6, 2018
Press Release

SARASOTA — Congressman Vern Buchanan today praised the SBA for declaring a disaster in Sarasota and Manatee counties as a result of the damage caused by red tide.

The designation makes small businesses suffering from the negative economic impact of red tide eligible for up to $2 million in low interest loans to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred. 

“This is tremendous news for our region,” Buchanan said. “Disaster assistance loans provided by the SBA are critically important to help our local businesses recover from this devastating crisis.” 

The stench of dead fish and respiratory problems caused by the current outbreak have caused several people to cancel or change travel plans to some of the region's most popular tourist attractions and driven locals inland, away from coastal businesses.

Suncoast small businesses have reported millions of dollars in lost revenue due to red tide. In August alone, Sarasota County reported more than $1.4 million in damages. A survey by Visit Sarasota County found that 75 percent of local hotels have seen reservations canceled due to red tide concerns.

Buchanan urged the SBA to issue the disaster declaration.

Loan amounts will be based on economic injury and the company’s financial needs.  The interest rate will not exceed 4 percent per year. The term of these loans will not exceed 30 years. The repayment term will be determined by your ability to repay the loan.