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Whitmer Secures US Small Business Administration Disaster Declaration for Otsego County


July 13, 2022



Governor Whitmer Secures U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Declaration for Otsego County

LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has granted an administrative declaration of disaster for Otsego County. The SBA disaster assistance program will make low-interest loans available to residents and businesses affected by a tornado on May 20.

“This declaration is an important step in getting the necessary support and resources to the Gaylord community,” said Governor Whitmer. “It is clear this tornado had devastating impacts in Otsego County. These loans will allow people and businesses to begin rebuilding and will ensure the community continues to move forward.”

“Everyone who knows the Gaylord community knows that our people are strong and resilient in the face of challenges,” said State Senator Jim Stamas. “This declaration of additional available funds will go a long way toward easing the incredible burden that families and businesses have shouldered in the face of this disaster.”

The SBA disaster assistance program provides low-interest loans for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, inventory, and business assets that were damaged or destroyed. The SBA tailors the repayment of each disaster loan to the borrower’s financial capability. This declaration covers Otsego County and all adjacent counties, including Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Crawford, Kalkaska, Montmorency, and Oscoda.

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Michigan with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

The SBA will establish a temporary Disaster Loan Outreach Center in the impacted area for one-on-one assistance. Loan applications also will be made available online or by mail. For additional information on low-interest SBA loans or the application process, visit

“Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets,” said SBA’s Michigan District Director Laketa Henderson

Based on information provided by the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, state officials requested representatives of the SBA conduct a preliminary damage survey of the affected areas to document physical property damage to homes and businesses. That survey took place May 25.

About the Disaster  On May 20, an EF-3 tornado touched down in Otsego County, impacting infrastructure, and damaging businesses and private property. That same day, Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Otsego County. By declaring a state of emergency, Governor Whitmer made available all state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery efforts in the designated area. On June 8, Governor Whitmer sent a letter a letter to the federal government requesting a Major Disaster Declaration for Otsego County. On July 2, FEMA denied that request. On July 8, the governor sent a letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration declare a disaster for Otsego County.