OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster officials urge victims of the May 3-5 tornadoes, severe storms and flooding to complete and return their SBA loan forms as quickly as possible.
The SBA is the primary source of federally funded disaster assistance loans to homeowners, renters and businesses. Referrals to other forms of assistance or grant programs are made after the SBA has made a decision on a loan application. Any delay - such as waiting for an insurance settlement before initiating the loan application - will only slow the recovery process should a low-interest loan be the best option.
"Even if disaster victims do not want a loan or think they will not qualify, they must complete and return the loan application to be eligible for a loan or grant," SBA Regional Administrator Ruben Guerrero said.
Many victims of the recent Oklahoma storm have been referred to the SBA low-interest loan program. To date, of the 6,577 disaster loan applications issued to disaster victims, 1,618 have been returned to SBA for processing. At the close of business Wednesday, $8,513,700 was approved for 170 individuals or business owners.
Anyone with questions about the SBA loan process can call SBA's toll-free customer service number at 800-366-6303, or visit one of the Disaster Recovery Centers for face-to-face help with their SBA application. Recovery centers are in Cleveland, Grady, Logan and Oklahoma counties. Directions to the centers can be obtained through FEMA's Helpline at 800-525-0321 (TTY: 800-660-8005).