The U.S. Small Business Administration is opening two Business Recovery Centers in Houston to help local business owners affected by the recent derecho storms understand the aid and resources that are available to them.

What you need to know

Francisco Sanchez Jr., associate administrator for the Office of Disaster Recovery and Resilience at the Small Business Administration, announced the opening of the two centers during a May 23 news conference.

The two centers will be located at the University of Houston-Downtown and the Trini Mendenhall Community Center.

A virtual business center will also be available for residents and business owners who are unable to visit the in-person locations.

  • UHD Marilyn Davies College of Business: 320 North Main St., First Floor, Room B106, Houston
  • Trini Mendenhall Community Center: 1414 Wirt Road, Houston
  • Virtual Business Recovery Center: contact [email protected] or 916-932-8925

The recovery centers officially opened May 23. Hours will be Mon.-Fri. from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Sanchez said the centers will be a place where business owners and residents can receive one-on-one assistance. SBA customer service representatives will be on hand to:

  • Answer questions about the disaster loan program
  • Explain the application process
  • Help individuals complete their electronic loan applications

The SBA will also be opening a portable loan outreach center, a mobile unit that will include setting up tents, solar panels, tables and computers to reach communities without power.

“The last thing people want to think about sometimes is a loan,” Sanchez said. “You have just taken an impact. You’ve just taken some losses. The last thing you want to think about is taking on additional debt, but the reality is recovery can be expensive.”

By the numbers

The SBA offers two different types of loans for small businesses:

  • Business disaster loan, which can be used to help to repair or replace destroyed assets, property or equipment
  • Economic injury disaster loan, which can be used to meet capital needs, pay lost employee wages or restore normal business operations

The maximum loan for any combination of property damage and/or economic injury is $2 million, according to the SBA.

  • Disaster loans are available for up to $500,000 to repair or replace damaged property.
  • Up to $100,000 is available for homeowners to repair or replace damaged personal property, including vehicles.
  • Interest rates start at 4% for businesses, 3.25% for private nonprofits and 2.68% for homeowners.
  • SBA disaster loan repayment starts 12 months from the date of disbursement.
  • Businesses need to have been operational for at least two years to apply for disaster loans.

According to the SBA website, the deadline to apply for physical damage is July 16. The deadline to apply for economic injury is Feb. 18, 2025.