NEW YORK – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) remind Hurricane Sandy survivors that the Thanksgiving weekend is a perfect time to fill out their SBA disaster loan applications.
An SBA disaster loan, which is part of the FEMA grant process, can help homeowners, renters and businesses cover any repair or rebuilding costs not covered by private insurance or cover disaster-related damage costs that exceed the initial estimate. Homeowners can receive loans of up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residences. Homeowners and renters may also borrow up to $40,000 to replace damaged or destroyed personal property including vehicles.
Businesses and private nonprofits can apply for loans of up to $2 million. Interest rates for businesses are as low as 4 percent to cover physical damage and economic injury caused by the disaster. For private nonprofits, interest rates are as low as 3 percent and for homeowners and renters the rates are as low as 1.688 percent with terms as long as 30 years.
Survivors who receive a low-interest disaster loan application from SBA after registering with FEMA should complete and return the application even if they do not plan to accept a loan. By completing the application, applicants may become eligible for additional grants from FEMA. By not completing and returning the applications, survivors could potentially be leaving recovery assistance money on the table.
SBA customer service representatives are available to issue or accept low-interest disaster loan applications and answer questions at all New York State/FEMA disaster recovery centers and
18 SBA business recovery centers. To locate the nearest business recovery center, visit www.sba.gov or call 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339.) To find the nearest disaster recovery center, check out the disaster recovery center locator at www.FEMA.gov/disaster-recovery-centers or, with a tablet or smartphone, go to m.fema.gov. You may also text “DRC” and your Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA). For example, if you lived in Staten Island, you would text: “DRC 10301.” Or call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585).
Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at https://DisasterLoan.SBA.gov/ELA. More information is available by calling the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center toll-free number, 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339.) Assistance is also available by sending an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or by visiting www.sba.gov