Michigan leaders encourage applications for Disaster Loans due to warm weather

Although the warmth may feel nice, Michigan small businesses have been impacted poorly by the unseasonable weather this winter. Now, according to the Executive Office of the Governor, federal drought declarations have caused Economic Injury Disaster Loans to be made available.

“Michiganders are used to tough winters, but this year’s record-setting warm winter has been tough in a different way, causing economic hardships for small businesses and regional economies that rely on snow. I know how hard this winter has been on families and communities who rely on winter tourism revenue and all the associated business that comes with it—hotels, restaurants, and shops. Fortunately, businesses in these 42 counties in the UP and the Northern Lower Peninsula can apply for support right now. A drought is a drought—whether we’re talking about rain or snow. Businesses impacted by low snow in these 42 counties can apply for support right now, and I’ll continue to push our federal government for more solutions. We’ll get through this warm winter together.”     

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D)

Many events which would have brought in tourism dollars to small businesses in Michigan ended up being cancelled due to lack of snow, ice, or the warm weather in general. These events include the UP200, Midnight Run, and Jack Pine 30 sled dog races.

“The lack of snow this winter has had a profound impact on our local seasonal economies and the people who depend on them, especially in the U.P. I appreciate the governor encouraging Michigan’s small businesses to take advantage of the aid that’s available. We all want to ensure our communities remain resilient in the face of these unexpected challenges.” 

State Representative Jenn Hill (D-Marquette)

The lack of snowfall or precipitation has also affected drought conditions negatively. 42 Michigan counties including Gogebic and Ontonagon are covered by a disaster designation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This means that businesses in these counties may be eligible for emergency loans if their losses are related to the drought.

“This year’s El Nino weather pattern and unusually mild winter have severely affected our snow-dependent industries. The loans available through this initiative are a much-needed support effort for northern Michigan’s small business employees and owners that rely heavily on winter recreation for their livelihood.” 

Warren Call, President & CEO of Traverse Connect and member of the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans are up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been handled in a normal year without the specific disaster. Businesses pay no interest on the loan for the first year and a maximum rate of 4% for the rest of the loan period. Businesses must apply by the application deadline for their county.  

Submit applications and find additional disaster assistance information at https://lending.sba.gov. Call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.