WASHINGTON – Less than one in four small businesses affected by Superstorm Sandy – including those in Rhode Island – have had their U.S. Small Business Administration loan applications approved, according to the Government Accountability Office.
According to a news release, SBA data shows loan approvals at just 24 percent for all businesses affected by Sandy, including those in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Maryland. The pace at which the agency is processing loans also lags, data shows. On average, the SBA is taking 46 days to process business loans, while processing times following Hurricanes Ike and Irene were closer to two weeks.
The report also suggests that the agency is not employing all the resources at its disposal when responding to hurricanes. The pace at which personnel have been added to process loan requests has been slow and several private-public partnership initiatives that would help lessen the backlog of loan applications remain unused. •