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Utah Quake Survivors Should Also Apply for SBA Disaster Assistance

Release Date Release Number

SALT LAKE CITY – President Trump’s federal disaster declaration has made help available to Utahns who suffered damage as a result of the Magna Quake and aftershocks. 

Residents and businesses in Davis and Salt Lake County are eligible.  Damage must have occurred between March 18 and April 17.

Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are an important form of this assistance. These loans are not just for businesses. Homeowners, renters and private nonprofit organizations can also apply.

The first step to getting help is registering with FEMA.  You can do so by phone at (800) 621-3362 or online at disasterassistance.gov. TTY users can call (800) 462-7585.  Help is available in most languages.

FEMA housing assistance helps ensure that people are in safe, secure and functional housing.  Funds can be provided for temporary rental of another home or basic repairs to allow people to return to their damaged home. 

For those without insurance, SBA low-interest loans are a primary means of recovery.  Most of those who register with FEMA will be referred to the SBA. If referred, you must complete and return the SBA application in order to maintain your eligibility for additional FEMA financial aid programs.

If SBA offers you a loan, you are not required to take any or all the money. However, if you are offered a loan and decline, that may limit your eligibility for other federal financial assistance.

Here are some facts to consider:

  • Homeowners may qualify for low-interest disaster loans up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters may apply for up to $40,000 for personal property losses (contents). Interest rates for homeowners and renters are as low as 1.563%. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial situation.
  • Homeowners may be eligible for additional funds to pay for mitigation measures. Examples include reinforcing foundations and structures, building retaining walls, installing a sump pump and/or relocating utilities. After approval of your SBA disaster loan, you may apply for up to 20% of your disaster related physical loss for such projects.
  • Homeowners may be eligible for a loan to assist with relocation.
  • Businesses and nonprofits can apply for up to $2 million.  Funds can be used to repair or replace disaster damaged real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Business loan rates are as low as 3.75%. The rate for private nonprofits is 2.75%.
  • You don’t have to wait for an insurance settlement before applying. However, SBA cannot duplicate benefits. Which means that funds you receive from insurance, grants and other programs are considered by SBA when determining your eligibility.  Loan applicants applying for other assistance should ask how approval of an SBA loan might affect their eligibility.
  • For homes and businesses with substantial disaster damager, SBA may decide to refinance recorded liens on the real estate and/or machinery & equipment.

You can complete SBA loan forms online at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov. For more information on SBA, visit www.SBA.gov/disaster.   If you have questions, call SBA’s Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center at (916) 735-1500 or (TTY: 800-877-8339), or email FOCWassistance@sba.gov.

For more information on Utah’s recovery from the Magna Quake, visit, www.fema.gov/disaster/4548, or https://earthquakes.utah.gov/magna-quake/

Last updated Aug 7, 2020