Miami, FL -- Victims of the March 27 severe storms and tornados who receive a loan application from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) should take the time to fill it out - even if they don't want a loan, urged disaster recovery officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the SBA.
Many of the people who call the toll-free number - 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) - and apply for assistance will receive a SBA loan application within seven to ten days of making the call.
"The loan application provides necessary information for determining the appropriate assistance for that applicant. If the SBA decides not to offer a loan, the individual is then automatically referred to other available disaster assistance," Justo Hernandez, FEMA federal coordinating officer, said.
Government disaster assistance covers basic needs only and will not normally compensate you for your entire loss. If you have insurance, the government may help pay for expenses not covered under your insurance policy. Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other assistance may come in the form of low-interest disaster loans.
These SBA low-interest disaster loans are available to residents and businesses of all sizes in Miami-Dade County that were affected by the severe storms and tornadoes of March 27. Interest rates on SBA loans can be as low as 2.812 percent for homeowners and 2.953 percent for businesses. Actual loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial situation.
"We urge anyone who sustained losses because of the storms to apply for assistance and return the completed loan application as soon as possible," said Director of SBA's Disaster Area 2 office in Atlanta, Georgia Michael Allen.
People who have questions about their application, or who want to apply for disaster assistance, should call FEMA's toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with a speech- or hearing-impairment should call, TTY 1-800-462-7585. Hours of operation are 8am -6pm daily.
A temporary SBA office is located at the Caleb Center, 5400 N.W. 22nd Avenue, 3rd floor, Miami, with hours Monday thru Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM, until further notice. Our loan officers at this location can provide you with any help you need with your loan application. Information on SBA loan applications is also available by calling the SBA Helpline at 1-800-359-2227.