NEW YORK – Survivors of Hurricane Sandy, who received a loan application from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA), should take the time to fill it out and return it promptly. This includes homeowners, renters, business owners, and non-profit organizations that have called the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to register for disaster assistance.
“SBA is our partner in disaster recovery. If you received an application from the SBA, whether you are a business, homeowner or renter, you need to return the application.” said Michael F. Byrne, coordinating officer for the federal recovery operations in the affected area. “Filling out the application is a necessary step to being considered for other forms of assistance.”
An SBA disaster loan 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.
“The SBA has approved more than $96 million in Disaster Assistance Loans in the state of New York with almost $89 million for homeowners and renters,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta. “We are pleased to be able to get these loans approved so residents and businesses in the disaster area can start to rebuild and resume their normal lives.”
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.
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 19 SBA business recovery centers. 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.
Help also can be obtained by calling FEMA’s toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice, and assistance is offered in most languages. 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.” Individuals can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via smartphone or tablet at m.fema.gov. Applicants may also call 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services (VRS) can call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers operate 24 hours a day seven days a week until further notice.
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.