COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Victims of the Ohio storms and flooding of May 18 through June 21, 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. This includes renters, homeowners, landlords, business owners, and non-profit organizations that have called the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to register for disaster assistance.
“SBA disaster loans are the primary source of long-term recovery assistance. The loan application provides information needed to determine 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,” said Lee Champagne, federal coordinating officer of the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The application is the key to being considered for several assistance programs. People affected by the disaster should not delay completing and returning it.
“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,” said Dale W. Shipley, state coordinating officer and executive director of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency.
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.
SBA low-interest disaster loans 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.
Cleveland area victims can receive face-to-face assistance from the SBA at the disaster field office in the Prospect Park Building, 4614 Prospect Avenue in Cleveland. Hours are Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Completed applications can also be mailed to: The U.S. Small Business Administration, P.O. Box 603632, Cleveland OH 44103.
For more information, visit the SBA Website at www.SBA.gov/disaster or call the SBA Helpline at 1-800-359-2227.
The SBA also has mitigation funds available to 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.
To help victims fund protective measures, borrowers may request an increase of up to 20 percent of their approved physical loan amount to help pay for their mitigation measures.
Residents are eligible for disaster assistance in 23 designated counties: Athens, Carroll, Columbiana, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Delaware, Geauga, Guernsey, Harrison, Hocking, Holmes, Licking, Logan, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Noble, Perry, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit, and Tuscarawas.
The Ohio EMA coordinates State assistance and resources during an emergency and prepares the state for all hazards through planning, training, exercises and funding activities at the state and local level. This includes providing assistance to individuals and administering state and federal assistance to individuals and governmental entities recovering from disaster-related damage and costs. Ohio EMA coordinates homeland security funding, weapons of mass destruction training, anti-terrorism planning and training, and assists local and state agencies determine homeland strategies and priorities.