OMAHA, Neb. -- Disaster victims who need help with low-interest disaster loan applications can still visit the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) at the Florence Community Center until further notice.
SBA will establish a workshop at the Florence center, 2920 Bondesson St., after the state/federal Disaster Recovery Center closes at the end of the day tomorrow (Tuesday, Sept. 14). SBA disaster recovery specialists will be on hand to answer questions and meet disaster victims who have questions about SBA or completing their loan packets. SBA's hours of operations will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The final deadline for submitting SBA loan applications is Oct. 18.
"We really want anyone who has questions about our low-interest disaster loans or about their own loan application to visit our workshop," said Jim Atkins, SBA spokesperson. "Our loan specialists can help an applicant complete the necessary paperwork or visit with them one-on-one about how we can best help them."
SBA is the primary form of federal assistance for long-term recovery for homeowners, renters and businesses. For homeowners, loans may be available for up to $200,000 to make real estate repairs. Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to replace damaged personal property. For businesses, loans of up to $1.5 million may be available to cover losses not fully covered by insurance. Additionally, small businesses impacted by the disaster may be eligible for loans that can provide them working capital until operations return to normal.
Since President Clinton's Aug. 20 disaster declaration for Nebraska, SBA has approved nearly 100 loans totaling more than $900,000. In addition, the State and FEMA have spent more than $3 million in assistance for disaster housing grants, Individual and Family Grants and infrastructure repairs.
Recovery officials stress that disaster victims must return a completed SBA loan application to be considered for other forms of assistance. Applicants are not required to accept a loan once it's offered, but they cannot choose a grant instead of a loan if they have the ability to repay SBA money.
Persons who cannot visit SBA at the center but who have questions about the disaster loan program can call SBA, toll-free, at 1-800-366-6303.
The deadline for applying for all forms of state and federal disaster assistance also is Oct. 18. To apply, disaster victims in Burt, Douglas and Washington counties who suffered damages from Aug. 6-9 severe storms can call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 1-800-462-9029; (TTY): 1-800-462-7585.