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Silver Lining

Plucking tax deductions from a natural disaster.

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This story appears in the October 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Due to the severe weather conditions caused by El Niño, many businesses suffered costly property and casualty losses in recent months. At press time, the number of federally declared disasters in 1998 had already reached 41--compared to 45 for all of 1997. This year is shaping up to be a serious one for disasters, says the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Marc Wolfson.

The government tracks the impact of disaster losses on businesses by the number of disaster loans it makes to business owners. In the first nine months of this fiscal year, the SBA's disaster assistance program approved more than 4,000 business loans, totaling almost $224 million.

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