LEXINGTON, Ky. -- If you received a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application after registering for disaster aid, but haven't done anything with it yet, it’s time to act.
Whether or not you need a loan, anyone who receives an SBA disaster loan application must complete and return it to be considered for FEMA grants that cover personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.
"For many individuals, families and businesses, this has been a life-altering event. We strongly encourage affected residents in the designated disaster areas to apply for SBA disaster assistance right away," said SBA Public Information Officer Gary Colton.
Following natural disasters, SBA is the primary government agency to provide low-interest loans to help disaster survivors—individuals, families, homeowners, renters, non-profit agencies, and businesses of all sizes—recover from losses. Officials say it’s detrimental to assume these loans are only for businesses or to ignore the SBA application because you do not want to take out a low-interest, disaster loan.
Applicants should know:
- If you are approved for a loan, you are not required to take it. Individuals granted a loan have 60 days to decide whether or not they want to accept the loan.
- If the SBA is unable to approve a loan, the applicant may be referred back to FEMA for some other type of disaster aid.
- Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. SBA interest rates are as low as 2.75 percent with terms as long as 30 years.
- Businesses and nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million at an interest rate as low as 4 percent to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.
- An economic injury disaster loan, sometimes called an EIDL, can help a business with no income coming in, to pay its expenses, including such items as rental costs, payroll, power bills, mortgages, and insurance payments.
The filing deadline to return SBA applications for physical property damage is July 12. The deadline to return economic injury applications is February 11, 2011.
To find the location of a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), request an SBA loan application, check the status of an application, or get clarification about SBA loans, call the SBA hotline at 800-659-2955. SBA representatives at each DRC can issue loan applications, will assist in completing loan applications, accept loan applications and answer questions about the application process. Questions can also be answered by calling the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339 for people with speech or hearing disabilities. Help is also available by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
The Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials urge disaster survivors to ask questions, register damage, or track FEMA application progress by using the free FEMA Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. EDT, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available to answer calls during this time. Those people with speech or hearing disabilities may call (TTY) 800-462-7585.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the...