LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Disaster recovery officials have a key message for homeowners, renters and business owners in the four Arkansas counties approved for individual assistance as a result of the April 27 severe storms: Complete your U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan application — Discarding it could be like throwing away money!
After survivors register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), they may receive an application for a low-interest disaster loan from the SBA. The number one mistake people make is assuming these loans are only for businesses or simply choosing to ignore the application because they do not want to take out a loan.
“It’s an easy mistake to make, because so many people assume the SBA is for businesses only,” said State Coordinating Officer David Maxwell of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management. “The truth is, they also help renters and folks who own their homes.”
Applicants should know:
- Filling out the SBA loan application is a necessary step for homeowners and renters to be considered for some other forms of disaster assistance.
- If the SBA is unable to approve a loan, the applicant may be referred back to FEMA for some other types of disaster aid. Applicants may be approved for assistance to repair or replace destroyed personal items, such as clothing and vehicles.
- Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair/replace primary residences if not fully compensated by insurance or some other source.
- Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to repair/replace personal property.
- Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury.
- The term of a low-interest disaster loan can be up to 30 years.
“Completing and returning the SBA application is an important step, even for those who don’t know yet if they want a loan,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Timothy J. Scranton. “People who discard the application could miss out on FEMA grants that could be available to them.”
Storm survivors who have questions about the application should call the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955. Individuals who are deaf or are hard of hearing can call TTY 1-800-877-8339. Survivors can also apply online using the electronic loan applications. That website is https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
SBA specialists also are working at the fixed and mobile Disaster Recovery Centers that are operating throughout the affected areas. They can answer questions regarding the disaster loan process, help residents fill out loan applications and accept the completed forms. For a complete list of locations, click on /disaster/4174/updates/five-disaster-recovery-centers-open-arkansas.
The SBA also operates a Business Recovery Center in Conway. Located at the Faulkner County Justice Building, 510 S. German Ln., Conway, AR 72034, the center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The center is geared specifically to business owners.
Arkansas homeowners, renters, and business owners can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov, via web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov, or by telephone via FEMA’s toll-free numbers: 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services can call 1-800-621-3362. Disaster recovery specialists are available by phone daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) is the state's homeland security and preparedness agency. The agency works to identify and lessen the effects of emergencies, disasters and threats to Arkansas by developing effective prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery actions for all disasters and emergencies. For additional information, contact ADEM at (501) 683-6700 or visit the website at www.adem.arkansas.gov.
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. Follow us on Twitter at //twitter.com/femaregion6, the R6 Hurricane Preparedness website at www.fema.gov/about/regions/regionvi/updates.shtm and the FEMA Blog at //blog.fema.gov. For information on rebuilding and repairing safer and stronger, visit www.fema.gov/ar-disaster-mitigation.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For information about SBA programs, applicants can go to www.sba.gov/disaster or call (800) 659-2955 (TTY 1-800-977-8339).