KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Have disaster damage? Don?t limit the types of disaster assistance available to you. Return the U.S. Small Business Administration loan application. SBA loans are not just for businesses.
That?s the message that U.S. Department of Homeland Security?s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representatives carried this week to homeowners, renters, business owners in areas of Missouri affected by the severe storms and flooding May 5-18.
Meanwhile, FEMA officials announced distribution of $1.3 million in disaster assistance to individuals and households in 17 declared counties in northwest Missouri. A total of 574 disaster households have registered for FEMA assistance as of the close of businesses July 8 with 282 approved for assistance so far. Two inspectors in the field have completed 96 percent of requested inspections to date with an average turnaround time less than a day and a half.
To date, FEMA Community Relations representatives going door-to-door have visited more than 2,328 homes, 216 businesses and 128 city and county emergency managers to explain FEMA disaster assistance programs, promote visits to Disaster Recovery Centers and stress the importance of returning SBA applications.
A total of 101 households have visited the Disaster Recovery Centers circulating in the affected region, with visits due Thursday and Friday, July 12-13 in the Albany Community Center, 200 W. Rigney St., Albany, and on Monday and Tuesday, July 16-17 at the T. P. Rupe Community Center, 710 Harvest Hills Drive, Carrollton. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The SBA loan application is an important part of the process in registering and helps the SBA and FEMA determine additional assistance that may be available.
"Disaster registrants are not required to take out an approved SBA loan, but they may short-circuit or even halt the assistance process by postponing or ignoring this key information-gathering step," said Federal Coordinating Officer Lee H. Rosenberg, FEMA?s top official for disaster recovery in the affected area.
"Disaster registrants receiving the SBA packet should return it immediately even if there is no intention to take out a loan. The loan decision is a key step in determining eligibility for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses," added State Coordinating Officer Ronald M. Reynolds, director of Missouri?s State Emergency Management Agency.
SBA low-interest loans are the primary source of federal funds for long-term assistance for homeowners, renters and business owners who have uninsured or under-insured property damagedin the disaster. Homeowners may qualify for disaster loans up to $200,000 and personal property loans are available up to $40,000 for homeowners and renters.
Business owners and nonprofit organizations may apply for loans up to $1.5 million for permanent rebuilding and replacement of uninsured or underinsured property. SBA also offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) up to $1.5 million for alleviating economic injury caused by the disaster. These loans provide working capital until normal operations resume after a physical disaster. The law restricts economic injury disaster loans to small businesses only.
Help with applications or any other information about state-FEMA recovery programs is available at any Disaster Recovery Center circulating in the disaster area (schedules are announced separately). Questions may also be directed to the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing- or speech-impaired. Online, register at www.fema.gov. To contact the SBA, contact the Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center,