MERRILLVILLE, Ind. -- More than $500,000 in federal loans has been approved for individuals and families in Lake County who were affected by the August storms and flooding, but officials with the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) believe many qualified residents have not yet registered or have not yet returned their SBA loan application.
To date, SBA has issued 1,860 loan applications for Lake County residents and businesses. However, only 163 have been returned, less than 10 percent of those issued. Officials would like to see the number of applications returned above 20 percent and remind county residents and businesses that the deadline to register with FEMA and complete and return their SBA loan application is Jan. 29. They urge anyone not yet registered to do so as soon as possible.? Also, residents who have received an SBA loan application are urged to visit one of the SBA DLOCs for assistance.
"If you have registered and have received a loan application from the SBA, please fill it out and return it to SBA, or bring it into one of the DLOCs," says FEMA's Donald Keldsen. "It is a necessary step for possible additional grant assistance."
"Residents may be eligible for additional grant assistance from FEMA, through the Other Needs Assistance program," said J. Eric Dietz of IDHS. "They must fill out the SBA application to be considered for that program."
Anyone affected by the disaster should apply for assistance immediately by calling, toll-free, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Those with speech or hearing impairment may call TTY 1-800-462-7585.? Internet registration is available around the clock at www.fema.gov.
Disaster assistance may include grants to help pay for home repair, temporary housing, uninsurable items and other serious disaster-related needs.
SBA partners with FEMA during disaster operations and low-interest disaster loans are an important element of any recovery. Low-interest disaster loans are available for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private non-profit organizations. Individuals with SBA questions may visit an SBA DLOCs (see list) or call the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or TTY 1-800-877-8339 or visit SBA's Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.?
Due to the continuing flow of applicants, FEMA personnel will be available at the Gary DLOC location until Jan. 8, to answer questions. Applicants with questions or concerns may also call the FEMA helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Centers (DLOC)
Open Mon.-Fri.; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closing Jan. 10
Gary Sanitary District office
839 Broadway - 1st Floor
Gary, IN 46402
Hobart Parks Department
18 East Old Ridge Road
Hobart, IN 46342
Civic Center (Blue Room)
5825 S. Sohl Avenue
Hammond, IN 46320
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.