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Disgarding Your SBA Loan Packet Could Be Like Throwing Away Money

Release date: 
October 21, 2010
Release Number: 

NEW BERLIN, Wis -- Residents and business owners in Grant and Milwaukee counties who suffered damages or losses from severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred from July 20 through July 24 and received a loan application from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are urged to complete and return the application, according to disaster officials of Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Returning the application will ensure applicants are considered for the full range of disaster assistance that may be available to them.

Filling out an SBA disaster home loan application does not guarantee that an applicant will be approved for a loan, nor does it mean that they must accept the loan. However, if the SBA form is not returned, applicants might qualify for only a limited number of disaster recovery assistance programs, including FEMA's Other Needs Assistance (ONA) grant program.  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, according to federal and state officials.  Besides ONA, FEMA may also provide grants to help pay for temporary housing and home repairs. There are no grants for businesses.

SBA’s disaster loans cover uninsured losses.  Interest rates are as low as: 2.5 percent for homeowners and renters, 4 percent for businesses and 3 percent for private non-profit organizations with terms up to 30 years, which helps make SBA’s disaster loans more affordable. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. There is no obligation to take the loan if approved. 

SBA offers disaster loans up to $200,000 to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Businesses of any size and private non-profit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to help with the cost of making improvements that protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future. 

For small businesses and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs that cannot be met as a result of the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage. 

The SBA also offers mitigation funds to disaster victims based on 20 percent of the verified physical damage.  These funds are designed to help borrowers pay for protective measures which may prevent damages of the same kind in the future.

SBA Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are working at the federal-state Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) and SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) in Milwaukee County. At the centers, SBA CSRs can answer questions regarding the SBA loan process, help residents fill out applications for low-interest disaster loans, and accept completed forms. FEMA staff is also available to assist applicants.

Anyone not able to visit a center should call the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, for information and assistance. Applicants also may visit the SBA Web site at, or e-mail the SBA at They may also apply online using SBA's Electronic Loan Application at:

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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