SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Florida Residents Affected by the Severe Storm System
WASHINGTON – Florida residents and businesses affected by the severe storms, heavy rain, strong winds and flooding on Jan. 9 - 10 can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Acting Administrator Jeanne A. Hulit announced today.
Acting Administrator Hulit made the loans available in response to a letter from Gov. Rick Scott on Jan. 28, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Palm Beach County and the adjacent counties of Broward, Glades, Hendry, Martin and Okeechobee in Florida.
“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Florida with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes with federal disaster loans,” said Acting Administrator Hulit. “Getting 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 Field Operations Center East in Atlanta. SBA’s customer service representatives are available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.
The Center is located in the following community and is open as indicated:
Palm Beach County
Hagen Ranch Road Branch Library
14350 Hagen Ranch Road
Delray Beach, Florida 33446
Opens: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 9 a.m.
Hours: Wednesday, Feb. 5 through Thursday, Feb. 13, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 8, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (closed Sunday)
Closing: Thursday, Feb. 13, at close of business
“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 Francisco Marrero, SBA’s South Florida district director.
Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, to make improvements that help prevent the risk of future property damage caused by a similar disaster.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture 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 2.25 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.625 percent for
non-profit organizations 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.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
Individuals and businesses unable to visit the center may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov/disaster. 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 March 31, 2014. The deadline to return economic injury applications is October 30, 2014.