AUGUSTA, Maine - Disaster recovery officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) encourage Maine flood victims who have registered with FEMA to take the step of filling out a disaster loan application from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) even if they do not want a loan. Individuals can visit the federal/state Disaster Recovery Centers operating in Aroostook and Penobscot County to receive help completing the loan packets.
Because FEMA disaster assistance covers basic needs only, SBA loans can be important in helping households return to their pre-disaster condition. Interest rates on SBA loans can be as low as 2.9 percent for homeowners and renters and 4 percent for businesses. Actual loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's situation. Being approved for a loan does not obligate the applicant to accept it; it merely provides an additional source of recovery funds if needed. And for those who do not qualify for a loan, additional FEMA assistance may be available.
Those who have questions about their application, or who want to apply for disaster assistance, should call FEMA's toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Registration can also be done online at www.fema.gov. Those with speech or hearing impairment should call, TTY 1-800-462-7585. The deadline to apply is July 8. Information on SBA loan applications is available by calling the SBA helpline at 1-800-659-2955 or visiting the SBA Website at www.sba.gov.