TRENTON, NJ -- The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency along with the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management urge residents to return their Small Business Administration (SBA) application packets. SBA loans are the primary source of long-term recovery assistance. SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to qualified homeowners, renters, landlords, and businesses of any size that suffered losses due to the disaster.
When an individual registers for disaster assistance, a packet of information is mailed to the applicant within seven to ten days. If the applicant is referred to SBA, the loan application packet that arrives must be completed and submitted before other federal aid options are considered. Failure to apply for available assistance from SBA automatically indicates the applicant has no other unmet needs.
Homeowners and renters may receive loans to replace personal property; homeowners may receive loans to repair/replace damage to their primary residence; businesses may receive loans to repair damage to real estate, equipment, inventory, and economic injury loss. Interest rates are as low as 2.937 percent for homeowners and renters and 4.00 percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years. Actual loan amounts and terms are determined by the SBA and based on each applicant’s financial situation.
SBA also makes mitigation funds available to many disaster victims who have already been approved for low-interest disaster loans. SBA mitigation funds are designed to help borrowers fund protective measures to prevent damages from recurring in future disasters of the same kind. Borrowers may request an increase up to 20 percent of their approved physical loan amount to help pay for mitigation measures.
New Jersey residents can apply for disaster assistance by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), or 800 462 7585 for those who are hearing or speech-impaired. The FEMA application line is open 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EDT seven days a week, until further notice. Registration is also available online at www.fema.gov.
Information and help with the SBA loan application process is available by calling the SBA Helpline at 1-800-659-2955 or by visiting www.SBA.gov/disaster between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. EDT.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.