HELENA, Mont. -- For many Montanans recovering from the storms and related flooding from April 4 to July 22, completing a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loan application is an essential step in recovery.
FEMA does not require that an applicant file for an SBA loan. However, an applicant must fill out and return an SBA loan application to be eligible for additional assistance under the part of the Other Needs Assistance (ONA) program from FEMA that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses. Even if you have insurance, you should apply with SBA.
Before applying for an SBA loan, register with FEMA by calling 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). The toll-free numbers are staffed every day from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Online registration is also available at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, where survivors can get in touch with 17 federal agencies offering 69 assistance programs.
"Completing an SBA application opens the door to other types of disaster assistance," said Ed Tinsley Montana Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator. "There is no cost to apply for an SBA loan, and there is no obligation to accept one after it is approved."
SBA's disaster loans are the primary form of federal assistance for nonfarm, private-sector disaster losses. Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace their damaged or destroyed primary residence. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property, including automobiles.
Businesses of any size and private, nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.
Interest rates can be as low as 2.5630-percent for homeowners and renters, 4-percent for businesses, and 3-percent for private, nonprofit organizations. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition. Payment terms for as long as thirty years are available to make the loans affordable.
Individual assistance is now available to residents and businesses in the following counties and reservations: Big Horn, Blackfeet Reservation, Carbon, Cascade, Crow Reservation, Custer, Fergus, Fort Belknap Reservation, Garfield, Hill, Jefferson, Judith Basin, Lewis and Clark, Missoula, Musselshell, Petroleum, Sweet Grass, Valley and Yellowstone.
For small businesses and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business or nonprofit suffered any property damage. EIDLs are available for small businesses located in the primary counties above, and also in the contiguous Montana counties of: Blaine, Broadwater, Carter, Chouteau, Daniels, Deer Lodge, Fallon, Flathead, Gallatin, Golden Valley, Granite, Lake, Liberty, Madison, McCone, Meagher, Mineral, Park, Phillips, Powder River, Powell, Prairie, Ravalli, Roosevelt, Rosebud, Sanders, Silver Bow, Stillwater, Teton, Treasure & Wheatland.
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 and rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For information about SBA programs, applicants may call (800) 659-2955 (TTY 1-800-977-8339).
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