Quincy, MA -- In the aftermath of the floods that struck Massachusetts, March 5 to April 16, people seeking disaster assistance may find they have been issued a U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan application. These forms are sent to all applicants (both individuals and business owners) who may qualify for a loan. To be considered for further assistance, beyond the initial FEMA Housing Program, this form must be completed and returned to the SBA.
The SBA can provide loans to homeowners, renters, and private nonprofit organizations, as well as businesses, to fund repairs of damages to homes, businesses, and personal property, including automobiles that are not fully covered by insurance. These loans are available at low interest rates and long terms that make them affordable to almost any budget. The SBA can lend up to $200,000 to repair primary residences and up to $40,000 to replace disaster-damaged personal property.
"It is important that you complete this application if you need financial assistance," said Federal Coordinating Officer Louis H. Botta. "The SBA loan is an important source of long-term recovery funds."
If the SBA determines you cannot afford a loan, you may be referred to the Individual and Family Grant (IFG) program. If you qualify for the IFG program, you will receive a check and letter explaining the losses for which you are being reimbursed.
To be considered for either a loan or a grant however, you must first complete and return the SBA disaster loan application. Stephen J. McGrail, state coordinating officer and director of Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, added, "Even if you think you cannot afford a loan you must still complete and return the SBA loan application to be considered for further assistance."
If you need help in completing your loan application, you can get help from an SBA representative at either of the disaster recovery centers now open in Woburn and Lawrence. Applicants can also call the SBA Disaster Area Office at 1-800-659-2955.
The April 10 Presidential disaster declaration makes physical disaster loans available to homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profit organizations located in the counties of Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester.
People who suffered damage from the flooding between March 5 and April 16, are reminded that the first step to receiving disaster assistance is to call FEMA's toll-free registration number, 1-800-462-9029. For the hearing- or speech-impaired, the TTY number is 1-800-462-7585. The registration telephone number is available 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week until further notice.