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Hurricane Arthur is approaching. What small businesses need to know ahead of the storm.

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Mike Spencer/Wilmington Star-News/AP

(Read caption) Clouds and rains move in as beachgoers walk along the shore of the north end of Carolina Beach, N.C., July 3, 2014. As hurricane Arthur approaches the East Coast, small business owners should consider the possible economic damage from the storm.

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Now that Tropical Storm Arthur has turned into hurricane Arthur, small business owners on the East Coast must prepare for potential economic losses, from a dip in customers to having to spend time and money repairing damage to storefronts. Business-specific costs abound as well, such as spoiled food at restaurants from lost power.

One option to keep in mind is the Small Business Association’s disaster loan program, which will be available for small business owners who have suffered damaged from the hurricane.

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What are SBA Disaster Loans?

SBA Disaster Loans are low-interest, long-term loans for damages caused by a natural disaster. Their loans are available for physical damage to businesses as well as economic damage as a result of the disaster.

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Physical Disaster Loans

Who is eligible? Businesses of all sizes and nonprofits

Cap: $2 million

Uses: Repair damaged real estate, equipment, inventory and fixtures

Interest rate: <4 percent if you do not have credit elsewhere, <8 percent if you do have credit available elsewhere

Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Who is eligible? Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most nonprofits

Cap: $2 million

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Uses: Expenses the businesses would have paid if the disaster had not occurred

Interest rate: <4%

How do you apply for an SBA Disaster Loan?

Submit a loan application and an IRS form 8821, which gives the SBA access to your tax information.

Stay safe!