CHARLESTON, W. Va. – Registering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and completing a Small Business Administration disaster-loan application are often both necessary for many West Virginians needing help in recovering from the recent tornadoes and flooding.
“The first step toward disaster recovery is registering with FEMA,” said State Coordinating Officer Jimmy Gianato. “The next step is completing and returning the SBA disaster-loan application if one is mailed to you. Both businesses and disaster survivors are eligible for SBA loans.”
Homeowners and renters should complete and return the SBA application, even if they don’t want a loan or don’t expect to qualify for one, officials said. A completed SBA loan application is needed in order to qualify for state and FEMA grants that cover personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, moving and storage expenses and other help.
Applicants can register by phone by calling the FEMA Help Line at (800)-621-3362. TTY users can call (800)-462-7585. The toll-free lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, seven days a week. Applicants can also resister online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or with a web-enabled mobile device or smartphone at m.fema.gov. Follow the link “Apply for Federal Assistance.”
For qualifying homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and nonprofit organizations in Logan, Lincoln, Marion and Wayne counties, SBA disaster loans can be used to pay for disaster-related damages. People with home-based businesses or rental property who have been affected by the storms 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 lost in the disaster.
Businesses can borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. The SBA also provides small business owners and most private nonprofit organizations “economic injury” disaster loans for ongoing business expenses to recover from the economic impact of a disaster. Economic injury disaster loans are available even if the business didn't sustain physical damages.
Loan amounts and terms are determined on a case-by-case basis. Interest rates are as low as
1.875 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for nonprofit organizations and 4 percent for businesses. Payment terms can be as long as 30 years.
SBA representatives are available at the FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers to help individuals complete and submit disaster-loan applications and answer any questions. The locations of the centers are available at fema.gov. Click on the link “Apply for Assistance” and then “Disaster Recovery Center locations.”
Loan applications can be filled out online at SBA's website: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
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.