WARWICK, R.I.-- In-person help is available in Westerly to help homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes that were affected by Hurricane Sandy with applications for low-interest disaster recovery loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. SBA disaster recovery loans are the primary source of federal funds for long-term recovery.
SBA officials urge Rhode Islanders who have questions about SBA loans or would like help completing an application to visit the SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center at the Misquamicut Fire Station, 65 Crandall Avenue, Westerly. Hours of operation are weekdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., through Wednesday, December 19. SBA specialists will assist with preparation and can send the application overnight free of charge to the SBA's national processing center.
While grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are helping individuals and families in the Ocean State with immediate recovery needs, they are rarely large enough to restore survivors to their pre-disaster condition. After a disaster, loans from the SBA are not just for businesses. Loans up to $200,000 are available to qualified homeowners to repair or replace damaged real estate. In addition, up to $40,000 may be available to homeowners and renters to repair or replace damaged personal property.
Many individuals and households who registered for disaster assistance from FEMA will be mailed an application for an SBA disaster recovery loan. If the SBA finds an individual does not qualify for a loan, the applicant may be referred back to FEMA to be considered for additional assistance from FEMA. No one is ever required to accept a loan. But failure to complete and submit the SBA application can deprive the family of the opportunity to access more aid from FEMA.
Businesses, regardless of size, can apply to SBA for up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. The SBA also offers 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. The SBA can make economic injury disaster loans even if the business didn't sustain physical damages.
Businesses are urged to visit the SBA Business Recovery Center at the Greater Westerly-Pawcatuck Area Chamber of Commerce, One Chamber Way, Westerly. Hours of operation are weekdays, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., through Wednesday, December 19.