ST LOUIS, Mo. -- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved $374,000 in low-interest disaster loans for victims of the severe storms and floods that struck Madison County (Missouri) from April 3 through 14, 1999.
The first SBA checks were given this week to eligible Madison County homeowners and renters to repair or replace uninsured real and/or personal property. SBA disaster loans are available to qualifying homeowners, renters, non-farm businesses of all sizes, and nonprofit organizations.
The loans have been made available because Madison County was designated eligible for federal disaster assistance as a result of the severe weather in early April.
Under the program, SBA offers loans of up to $200,000 to repair disaster-damaged primary residences. In addition, homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to replace personal property such as furniture, automobiles, clothing and other household fixtures.
Loans to qualifying businesses and non-profit organizations of up to $1.5 million are available to repair damage to real estate, equipment and inventory. SBA also offers available economic injury loans to small businesses that are unable to pay bills or meet expenses because of the disaster.
Homeowners and businesses that are potentially eligible for loans must first apply for assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) toll-free registration line at 1-800-462-9029. For people who are hearing- or speech-impaired, the number to call is (TTY) 1-800-462-7585.
"We encourage those who need assistance to call the FEMA registration line to find out exactly how SBA and FEMA can help them in their individual situations," said SBA spokesperson Jim Atkins.
Applicants who don't qualify for SBA loans may be eligible for Individual and Family Grants (IFG) for expenses not covered by insurance or other disaster assistance programs. IFG funds cover disaster-related home repair, furniture, major appliances, medical, dental, funeral and transportation expenses.
The program is funded on a cost-share basis - 75% by FEMA and 25% by the state - and is administered by the State of Missouri.
SBA's filing deadline for applications for physical damage to homes, personal property or businesses is June 18. The deadline for economic injury applications is January 20, 2000.