Hurricane Michael Disaster Relief Resources for Businesses & Employees

Created by Adrienne Harrison |

Small Business Administration, U.S. Chamber Disaster Help Desk, Small Business Disaster Recovery Quick Guide, Unemployment for Federally Declared Disaster Areas

Small Business Administration

(SBA) will be at the Chamber beginning on Thursday (8/18).  The SBA is a business’ second stop when it comes to disaster recovery (first stop is their insurance company).  The SBA offers two low interest disaster loan packages for businesses, one for physical damage and another for economic injury (i.e. – employees can’t get to work, people can’t get to your business, etc.)  While FEMA can supply information on loan packages, businesses are ineligible for FEMA funds until after they have tried to get an SBA loan.  We encourage ALL of our local businesses to register with the SBA, even if they feel they may not need a loan.  There is a deadline to register and once the deadline passes, businesses with be unable to apply. 


U.S. Chamber Disaster Help Desk

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Disaster Help Desk helps connect businesses connect with resources they need to move forward after Hurricane Michael.  Their phone number is 1-888-692-4943 and they are available 24 hours a day.  They are a fabulous resource for navigate the next steps in recovery, how to prioritize those steps and are available to answer questions along the way. 


Small Business Disaster Recovery Quick Guide

When a disaster occurs, businesses must take care of their employees’ needs, communicate the impact, address financial matters (e.g., insurance, disaster assistance), restore operations, and organize recovery. The guide offers are resources to help reopen your business and make progress through long-term recovery.   



Unemployment for Federally Declared Disaster Areas

Individuals who are unemployed or partially unemployed as a direct result of a federally declared disaster may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).  DUA benefits are funded by the federal government to assist individuals after a disaster. 

Individuals in the authorized counties who were directly affected by the disaster must first apply for regular unemployment insurance (UI). This can be done in one of three (3) ways.  They are as follows:

Individuals can apply …

  1. online on the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) website at ; click on File a Regular Claim
  2. in person at any GDOL career center. Check the GDOL website for Career Center Locations. 


Employers may assist employees during periods of lack of work due to a presidentially declared natural disaster by filing partial claims on their behalf.  Filing partial claims electronically results in faster payment.