WARWICK, R.I. -- Many Rhode Islanders recovering from the mid-March flooding are telling their neighbors that a completed SBA disaster loan application is as essential to recovery as a mop and bucket.
Most of the money for repairs and replacement of flood-damaged real estate and personal property comes in the form of low-interest SBA disaster loans. Just as important, a completed SBA loan application is a critical component to be considered for some disaster-related grants from FEMA.
Homeowners, renters, nonprofit organizations and businesses of all sizes can apply for SBA loans to pay for recovery costs not covered by insurance or other sources. People with home-based businesses or rental property who have been affected by the floods may also be eligible for SBA loans.
Homeowners can borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters can borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property.
Business owners can borrow from the SBA to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA also provides small business owners access to Economic Injury Disaster Loans that provide money for ongoing business expenses to recover from the adverse economic impact of a disaster.
Economic injury loans are available even if the businesses didn’t sustain physical damages from flooding; businesses may apply for both up to a combined limit of $2 million.
Loan amounts and terms are determined on a case-by-case basis. Interest rates as low as 2.65 percent for homeowners and renters, and as low as 4 percent for businesses coupled with payment terms as long as 30 years are intended to make the loans affordable.
Before applying for a SBA loan, register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired. The toll-free numbers are staffed every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Online registration is also available at www.fema.gov .
SBA representatives at Disaster Recovery Centers will also assist in completing your loan application, accept your loan application and answer any of your questions. Questions can also be answered by calling the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center at: 1-800-659-2955, or TTY 1-800-877-8339 for the hearing-impaired. Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EDT. Help is also available by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or online: www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.