In the wake of a disaster, individuals and business owners are often left with severely damaged property. Many turn for help to the Small Business Administration, which approves low-interest loans to help rebuild. For declared disasters in 2011 alone, the Small Business Administration approved over $1 billion in loans.
WHAT'S IN IT?
Disaster loans through the SBA are one of the primary forms of federal assistance for individuals and non-farm, private-sector businesses who have suffered losses. The data have information on the borrower, including name and address (although not necessarily the address of the damaged property); whether or not the damaged property is a home or business; the date and total amount approved for the loan; and the declared disaster that caused the damage.
The data do not yet include disaster loans for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, which occurred in late October.
The SBA Disaster Loans data are offered in .DBF format. If you'd like something else, we'll try to help -- email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (573) 884-7711.
WHAT CAN I DO WITH IT?
Follow money that flows into a community hit by a disaster, track trends, identify those who received loans in their community and find starting points to investigate disaster spending.
Check out IRE tipsheets on covering disasters.