ESSINGTON, Pa. -- Pennsylvanians who have applied for disaster assistance and received U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) forms are strongly encouraged to complete and return them to the SBA as soon as possible.
Those who registered and received a loan application in the mail should complete and return the SBA application as soon as possible to be considered for other possible forms of disaster assistance.
"Don't let the word 'business' throw you in the administration's title," said Federal Coordinating Officer Tom Davies. "Following a disaster, the Small Business Administration helps not only businesses, but also helps homeowners and renters. Everyone who receives an SBA application in the mail should fill it out and return it right away to keep the disaster-aid process moving."
If an applicant is referred to the SBA, the individual needs to complete the application and return it before other options can be considered. Filling out an SBA application does not guarantee that an applicant will be approved for a loan, nor does it obligate them to accept a loan, should one be offered.
"SBA loans are the largest source of disaster funds for making substantial repairs or rebuilding damaged structures to their pre-disaster condition," said State Coordinating Officer David Sanko. "Actual loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on an applicant's ability to repay. The low-interest disaster loans are available to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and nonprofit organizations."
For those who need help filling out their SBA application, loan officers are available to provide personal assistance in completing the forms at the Disaster Recovery Center in Upper Darby. The center is located at 6904 Market Street and is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The center will be closing this Saturday, Aug. 28 at 3 p.m. For those who still have disaster-related questions, call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). For those with speech or hearing impairment, call 1-800-462-7585.
Those who have questions about their SBA application can call 1-800-659-2955 or find SBA information on their Web site at www.sba.gov/disaster.
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.