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SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Puerto Rico Residents Affected by Severe Storms and Flooding

Field Operations Center: 
East
Release Number: 
10-181, PR 12004/12005
Release Date: 
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Contact: 
Michael Lampton 404-331-0333

WASHINGTON – Residents and businesses affected by severe storms and flooding that occurred on Dec. 24 - 25 in Aibonito, 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 Jan. 4, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers the municipality of Aibonito and the adjacent municipalities of Barranquitas, Cayey, Cidra, Coamo and Salinas.

“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 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:

CASA ALCALDIA, 1
Municipality of Aibonito
st
Front of La Plaza Publica de Aibonito Floor
Calle Degetau (PR-162) Int. con la Calle Geronimo Martinez
Aibonito, Puerto Rico 00705
Opens: Tuesday, January 12, 8 a.m.
Open: Tuesday, January 12 – Thursday, January 14, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday, January 15, 8 a.m. – noon
Closing: Friday, January 15 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 Adalberto Quijada, SBA’s Puerto Rico acting 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 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 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 March 8, 2010. The deadline to return economic injury applications is October 7, 2010.

Related State: 
Puerto Rico