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Disaster Press Releases

PR 11966 SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Puerto Rico Residents Affected by Severe Storms, Flooding and High Winds

WASHINGTON – Residents and businesses affected by severe storms, flooding and high winds that occurred on November 17 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills announced today.

Administrator Mills made the loans available in response to a letter from Puerto Rico Gov. Luis G. Fortuño on December 10, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers the municipality of San Juan and the adjacent municipalities of Aguas Buenas, Caguas, Carolina, Cataño, Guaynabo and Trujillo Alto in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Puerto Rico with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes with federal disaster loans,” said Administrator Mills. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

“Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s disaster Field Operations Center in Atlanta. SBA’s customer service representatives will be on hand at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to issue loan applications, answer questions about the SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help individuals complete their applications.

The Center will be located in the following community and will open as indicated:

Municipality of San Juan

Centro de Calidad de Vida -Puerto Nuevo
Departamento de la Familia y La Comunidad
Municipio de San Juan
Ave. Roosevelt #1208
San Juan Puerto Rico 00920

Hours: Friday December 18, 2009 - 12:00 noon until 4:00 p.m.
Saturday December 19, 2009, and Monday December 21 through Wednesday December 23, 2009 - 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Closed Sunday December 20, 2009

“Businesses and non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets,” said Jose Sifontes, SBA’s Puerto Rico district director.

The SBA also provides mitigation funds to disaster victims up to 20 percent of the verified physical damage. These funds are designed to help borrowers pay for protective measures to minimize damages of the same kind in the future.

For small businesses, and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Interest rates are as low as 2.562 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for non-profits and 4 percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Individuals and businesses unable to visit the Center in person may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, or by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Business loan applications can also be downloaded from the SBA Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance. Completed applications should be returned to the Center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is February 15, 2010. The deadline to return economic injury applications is September 17, 2010.

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For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Programs, visit our Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance. 

Release Number: 
10-151, PR 11966/ 11967
Release Date: 
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Contact: 
Mark Ihenacho - (404) 331-0333
Related State: 
Puerto Rico
Field Operations Center: 
East