MADISON, Wis. -- Victims of the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding who receive a loan application from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA), should take the time to fill it out and return it promptly, urged disaster recovery officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM).
Many of the people who call the toll-free number – 1-800-621-FEMA (TTY 1-800-462-7585) – and apply for assistance will receive an SBA loan application within seven to ten days of making the call. The application must be completed and returned for an applicant to be considered for any other form of federal disaster assistance.
“The loan application provides necessary information for determining the appropriate assistance for each applicant. If the SBA is unable to approve a loan, the applicant may be automatically referred to other available disaster assistance programs,” Ron Sherman, FEMA federal coordinating officer, said.
The application is the key to being considered for several assistance programs. People affected by the disaster should not delay completing and returning it. While FEMA housing assistance is not subject to SBA loan requirements, filling out the SBA application is a necessary step to being considered for other forms of disaster assistance programs, such as housing assistance.
“We are urging anyone who sustained losses because of the storms to apply for assistance and mail-in the completed loan application as soon as possible,” Ed Gleason, WEM administrator, said.
SBA disaster loans are the primary source of long-term recovery assistance and are available to qualified renters, homeowners, landlords, business owners, and non-profit organizations that suffered damage or loss due to the disaster. Businesses and non-profit organizations may apply for losses not fully covered by insurance. Interest rates can be as low as 2.875 percent for homeowners and renters and 2.750 percent for businesses. Loan terms on all loans can be up to 30 years. Actual loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
The SBA also has mitigation funds available for many of the disaster victims that have already been approved for a low-interest disaster loan. The SBA mitigation funds are designed to help borrowers fund protective measures to prevent damages from reoccurring in future disasters of the same kind.
For help in filling out an SBA loan application, applicants can visit one of the SBA workshops open in Wisconsin:
Crawford County: Prairie du Chien Township Hall, 33890 State Highway 35, Prairie du Chien Hours: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Closing COB Thursday, July 15.
Milwaukee County: Eastbrook Church (Fellowship Hall in lower level), 5345 N. Green Bay Ave., Milwaukee. Opening Wednesday, July 14. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, until further notice.
For more information on SBA loan applications, call the SBA Helpline at 1-800-359-2227 or visit the SBA Website at www.sba.gov/disaster_recov/index.html
People who have questions about their disaster assistance application, or who still need to apply for disaster assistance, should call FEMA’s toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with speech or hearing impairment should call, TTY 1-800-462-7585.
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