SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Florida Residents Affected by Tornadoes, Severe Storms and Flooding
WASHINGTON – Residents and businesses affected by tornadoes, severe storms and flooding that occurred on Jan. 21 in Bradford County, 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 Florida Gov. Charlie Crist on Jan. 29, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers the county of Bradford and the adjacent counties of Alachua, Baker, Clay, Putnam and Union 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 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 answer questions about the disaster loan program, explain the process, issue and help individuals complete their applications.
The Center will be located in the following community and will open as indicated:
Bradford County Safety Complex (Directly behind the Bradford County Courthouse)
945 B North Temple Avenue
Starke, Florida 32091
Opens: Tuesday, Feb. 9
Open: Tuesday, Feb. 9 – Thursday, Feb. 18, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed: Saturday, Feb. 13 - Monday, Feb. 15
Closing: Thursday, Feb. 18 at the 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 Wilfredo Gonzalez, SBA’s North Florida 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 2.625 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 800-659-2955 (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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 April 5, 2010. The deadline to return economic injury applications is November 4, 2010.