Small Business

The Small Business Administration created an online application for disaster victims to apply for recovery assistance. The application is available to homeowners and renters whose home or personal property is damaged by an event declared a disaster by the president or the SBA administrator. Businesses and nonprofits can apply for assistance to cover losses to real estate and property, as well as economic injury.

The application provides on-screen help, including a glossary to explain terms that are unfamiliar to the applicant. It also automatically checks for errors and provides prompts when additional information is necessary. The SBA says the electronic loan application is as secure as buying an airline ticket online.

The application is available on the SBA's secure Web site at

The SBA revised size standards for small businesses in the heating oil dealers and liquefied petroleum gas dealers industries and restored small business eligibility to firms that exceeded their existing size standards due to higher revenues generated by rising oil prices. The agency also finalized a December 2005 interim final rule that amended monetary- based small business size standards for inflation.

Before the rule change, dealers in these industries were exceeding size standards because of large increases in oil costs, although they continued to deliver the same quantity of fuel products. Dealers increased prices to customers to supplement the rising cost of oil. Businesses that exceeded the previous size standards would have been subject to higher registration fees.

The final rule for the two industries went into effect Aug. 21, and the final rule for inflation adjustment for size standards went into effect Aug. 18. More information is available at


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