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National Restaurant Association - Assistance available for hurricane victims

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Assistance available for hurricane victims

As Houston’s restaurateurs, other business operators and their employees begin assessing damages from Hurricane Harvey, there are resources available to help.

If you are directly affected and need financial assistance, seeking information on housing assistance, or wish to donate to general disaster relief efforts, here are some resources to tap into:

The Small Business Administration’s Disaster Loan Assistance
The SBA has various forms of financial assistance that small businesses can access. They range from working-capital- to disaster-assistance loans. Interest rates on these loans can be as low as 3.3 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations. Businesses also can borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate machinery, equipment or other assets.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance
On the federal level, the U.S. Department of Labor offers financial assistance to individuals whose employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted because of a major disaster and they are ineligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits. Eligibility requirements include:

  • Loss of work because employee no longer has a job or place to work
  • Employee cannot work due to damage at the place of work
  • Employee cannot work because of injury suffered during the disaster.

The DAP begins during the first week after the disaster and continues for up to 26 weeks.

On the state level, the Texas Workforce Commission also offers disaster unemployment assistance. You may be eligible for benefits if you lost your job because of the hurricane.

IRS Tax Relief for Businesses
To ease the burden on hurricane victims, the IRS is extending file dates for some individual and business tax returns until Jan. 31. 2018. These extensions cover those taxpayers with valid extensions that run out on Oct. 16, 2017, and businesses with extensions that run out on Sept. 15.The IRS is offering this expanded relief to areas designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for assistance.

Housing Assistance for Disaster Victims
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is speeding up federal disaster assistance to the State of Texas and providing support to homeowners and low-income renters forced to leave their homes because of Hurricane Harvey. The department is assisting in reallocating existing federal resources toward disaster relief, granting immediate foreclosure relief, making mortgage and home rehabilitation insurance available, and offering Section 108 loan guarantee assistance.

More Financial Resources
If you are seeking more information on financial resources for recovery, visit:

https://www.disasterassistance.gov/

https://www.usa.gov/disaster-financial-help

https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-harvey

Charitable Donations
Anyone looking to participate in a donation program to help hurricane victims, a number of local and national organizations are collecting funds to help. They include:

United Way

Americares

Salvation Army

Save the Children

Gofundme

The State of Texas Agriculture Relief fund

The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner

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