ATLANTA – The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Regional Administrator for New England, Jeanne Hulit is encouraging survivors affected by Tropical Storm Irene in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to register for assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and return completed SBA disaster loan applications to get the help they need.
The SBA’s low-interest disaster loan program is the primary source of federal funds for long-term recovery for uninsured damages caused by a declared disaster. “We are coordinating recovery efforts with our SBA Resource Partners along with federal, state and local stakeholders in the declared disaster area to ensure affected survivors receive proper assistance from the SBA. Taking time to complete and return the loan application package to the SBA is an important part of the recovery process,” said Hulit.
Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property. Businesses and private non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million for physical losses and working capital needs. Interest rates are as low as 2.5 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years.
“The SBA District Office and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network in Massachusetts are reaching out to local businesses to make sure they have access to federal resources to help them recover from the disaster. In addition to the state office in Boston which can be reached at 617-565- 5590, the SBA also has a branch office in Springfield, MA which can be reached at 413-785 0484. The local SBA can be instrumental in helping affected parties to navigate the resources available to assist with recovery,” stated Robert Nelson, SBA’s Massachusetts district director.
Certified business consultants from the SBDC network are available to assist businesses in completing their disaster loan applications at no cost. In Massachusetts call 1-413-545-6301 or visit www.msbdc.org/for the nearest SBDC location.
The disaster declaration covers the Massachusetts counties of Berkshire and Franklin, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private non-profit organizations in the following neighboring counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Hampden, Hampshire and Worcester in Massachusetts; Litchfield in Connecticut; Cheshire in New Hampshire; Columbia, Dutchess and Rensselaer in New York; and Bennington and Windham in Vermont.
To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 800-621-FEMA (3362), (TTY) 800-462-7585 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Additional information on the loan application process and the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955(800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those affected by the disaster may also apply for disaster loans electronically from SBA’s website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is November 2, 2011. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 5, 2012.
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For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program, visit our website at www.sba.gov.