Completing an SBA Loan Application Is the Key to Disaster Assistance

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Release date: 
October 26, 2009
Release Number: 

Pago Pago, American Samoa -- American Samoans who suffered damages or losses from the September 29 Earthquake, Tsunami and Flooding and received a loan application from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are urged to complete and return the application. Doing so will ensure the applicants are considered for the full range of disaster assistance that may be available to them.

SBA serves as the federal government's primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repair or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property.

Individuals may be eligible for low interest disaster loans for the repair or replacement of their un-insured or under-insured primary residence and personal property, including vehicles.

Businesses and nonprofit organizations may apply for a low interest disaster loan for the following:

  • Loans to repair damage to real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory and supplies.
  • Economic injury loans (for small businesses and most private non-profits) to help provide working capital to recover from the disaster's economic impact.
    Collateral is not required for physical loss loans of $14,000 or less or for economic injury loans of $5,000 or less.

Homeowners and renters that apply and do not qualify for an SBA loan, as well as those who are not issued a loan application after registering with FEMA, may be referred to FEMA's Other Needs Assistance (ONA) grant program. Homeowners and renters must return the SBA application, if they receive one, to be considered for ONA. ONA provides reimbursements for personal property losses, vehicle repair or replacement, moving and storage fees, and other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or other sources. Besides ONA, FEMA may also provide grants to help pay for temporary housing and home repairs.

Other SBA loan application facts:

  • The application should be completed even if an individual does not want or believe he or she qualifies for a loan. Determination for additional assistance cannot be made until the application is submitted; registrants should complete applications as soon as possible.
  • FEMA will process applications for housing assistance regardless of whether the applicant has applied for an SBA loan.
  • Insured residents do not have to wait for an insurance settlement to apply to SBA.
  • Completing an SBA application does not guarantee approval for a loan.
  • Completing the loan application does not obligate anyone to accept a loan.

SBA specialists are working at the Federal Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at Lee Auditorium. At the center, SBA specialists can answer questions regarding the SBA loan process, help residents fill out applications for low-interest disaster loans, and accept completed forms.

Anyone not able to visit a DRC should call the SBA Customer Service Center at 684-633-0920 for information and assistance. Applicants also may visit the SBA Web site at, or e-mail the SBA at

Those with questions on the status of their FEMA applications may call FEMA at 684-633-3720 or go online to

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property.  SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private, nonprofit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost...

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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