RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginians who have applied for disaster assistance and received U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) forms now have until December 8, 2003 to return completed forms.
Upon registering for assistance with the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), applicants generally receive an SBA loan application in the mail. Completing the application is a required step in obtaining some types of disaster assistance.
"If an applicant is referred to the SBA, the forms need to be completed and returned before other aid options can be considered," said Federal Coordinating Officer Louis Botta. "Filling out an SBA application does not guarantee that an applicant will be approved for a loan, nor does it mean that they must accept the loan if they are approved."
SBA loans are the largest source of disaster funds for making substantial repairs or rebuilding damaged structures to their pre-disaster condition. Actual loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition. The low-interest disaster loans are available to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes.
For those who need help in filling out their SBA application, SBA loan officers can provide face-to-face help in completing the forms at any of the Disaster Recovery Centers open in the disaster-affected areas.
Those who have questions about their SBA application can call 1-800-659-2955 or find information on SBA's website at www.sba.gov.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.