PA 11978 SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Pennsylvania Residents Affected by the Millcreek Township Fire

WASHINGTON – Residents and businesses affected by the Millcreek Township fire that occurred on Dec. 6 in Erie County, Pa., 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 after a request for an SBA disaster declaration from Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell on Dec. 14. The declaration covers Millcreek Township, Erie County and the adjacent counties of Crawford and Warren in Pennsylvania; Chautauqua County in New York; and Ashtabula County in Ohio.

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people affected by this fire 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.”

“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 Director Frank Skaggs 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 forms, answer questions about the SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the process and help individuals complete their applications.

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

Erie County
Greater Erie County Chapter of the American Red Cross
4961 Pittsburgh Avenue
Erie, PA 16509
Opens: Friday, December 18, 2009, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Open: Saturday, December 19, 9 a.m. to 12 Noon
Closed: Sunday, December 20, 2009
Open: Monday, December 21 – Wednesday, December 23, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closing: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 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 Carl Knoblock, SBA’s Pittsburgh 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, 4 percent for businesses and 3 percent for non-profit organizations 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 Business loan applications can also be downloaded from the SBA Web site at 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.

Pennsylvania residents affected by the fire may apply for disaster loans from SBA’s secure Web site at

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.


For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Programs, visit our Web site at

Release Number: 
10-144a, PA 11978/11979
Release Date: 
Friday, December 18, 2009 - 5:00am
Mark Ihenacho - (404) 331-0333
Related State: 
Field Operations Center: