Disaster Legal Aid Trainings: A Disaster Survivor’s Guide to SBA Loans

/ Blog Post

Adequately preparing for a disaster drastically improves an individual’s ability to recover after a disaster. In the third installment of the Disaster Resilience Awareness Month training series, Equal Justice Works Fellow alum and Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid disaster benefits team manager, Brittanny Perrigue Gomez (she/her/hers), and Equal Justice Works Fellow Brianna Williams (she/her/hers), discussed Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and how they are connected to the disaster recovery process. The training titled, “A Disaster Survivor’s Guide to SBA Loans,” was hosted by Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida on March 9.

We know what you’re thinking: “Why should I spend a portion of my afternoon learning about SBA loans? I don’t own a small business. How is this even related to disasters?” These questions are common misconceptions that were explored during the session. Over the course of the discussion, attendees learned how SBA loans can support both individual disaster survivors and small businesses, how to apply for SBA loans, the cross-functionality with FEMA, and how to know if you should appeal an adverse loan decision. The Fellows covered the systemic barriers that unfairly prevent applicants from obtaining a post-disaster loan, with the goal of attendees walking away from the presentation feeling informed, prepared, and confident in seeking forms of relief to protect their family and community in the event of a disaster.

As the frequency and severity of disasters continues to rise, it is important for residents, community leaders, and support providers to be aware of every potential disaster recovery resource. For more information about SBA loans, visit here.

If your organization is interested in teaming up with Equal Justice Works for Disaster Resilience Awareness Month, please reach out to us at [email protected].

Disaster Resilience Awareness Month is made possible thanks to the generous support of Equal Justice Works host organizations: Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, Disability Rights Texas, Lone Star Legal Aid, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc., and YMCA International Services.

The Equal Justice Works Disaster Resilience Program is funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the Bigglesworth Family Foundation, and individual contributions.

Learn more about becoming an Equal Justice Works Fellow