BURLINGTON, Vt. -- One message that state and federal officials want to share with those affected by the flood is to fill out and return your U.S. Small Business Administration application -- don't throw it away.
Applicants who register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency typically receive a loan application from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Many think that these are for businesses or people who want to take out loans and push these applications to the side or patently discard them.
"This is where people take themselves out of the process," said Vermont Emergency Management Director Mike O'Neil. "If they don't complete the paperwork, they miss out on FEMA aid beyond help with home repair or rental assistance."
Applicants should know:
- Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair/replace real estate.
- Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair/replace personal property with interest rates for residents as low as 2.688 percent and terms as long as 30 years.
- Businesses and non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million at 4 percent interest to replace/repair damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets as well as covering economic injury.
- Filling out the SBA application is a necessary step to be considered for other forms of disaster assistance.
"If you received an SBA application but haven't done anything with it, please take the time to fill it out," said Federal Coordinating Officer Craig Gilbert. "Contact FEMA or SBA if you have any questions about the process."
The SBA also provides a Disaster Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or 800-877-8339 TTY or for people with additional speech or hearing needs, 800-877-8339, Monday -- Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT. Help is also available via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
Homeowners, renters and businesses that suffered damage in Addison, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, and Orleans counties should call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY/TDD 1-800-462-7585 for those with additional speech or hearing needs or call 800-621-3362 if using 711 or using the Video Relay System.
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.