Nov 19, 201208:39 AMSmall Business, Big Ideas
with Jean Willard
Where to turn when disaster strikes
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Hurricane Sandy hit the United States with a vengeance. Like millions across the country, I sympathize with those who lost their lives, their homes, and those things most important to them.
After seeing and hearing of the huge losses they suffered, we’re reminded to look again at the state and federal resources that are in place to help us when disaster strikes.
If you own a small business, I would direct you to www.sba.gov/disaster. This website provides you with information on where to go for disaster loans, which areas qualify, how such loans can be used, and other resources to directly help those most affected by the disaster. For example, those in Wisconsin who were affected by this past summer’s drought can look at the specific counties listed as disaster areas to determine whether assistance is available.
Speaking of the drought, Gov. Walker last July announced loan guarantees to farmers who were affected. Designed to help our small business farmers, this Drought Relief Guarantee Program, which is administered by WHEDA, is a financing product that will provide a 90% guarantee on agricultural loans up to $15,000 for three years. Additional information can be found at www.wheda.com.
In general, if you’ve been affected by any disaster, visit www.irs.gov to see what assistance is available from the government.
For those affected by Hurricane Sandy, the Internal Revenue Service alerted employers and other taxpayers that because the hurricane has been designated as a qualified disaster for federal tax purposes, qualified disaster relief payments made to individuals by their employer or any person can be excluded from those individuals’ taxable income.