WASHINGTON – Massachusetts residents and businesses affected by a major fire that caused extensive damage in the City of Holyoke on June 16 can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced today.
Administrator Contreras-Sweet made the loans available in response to a letter from Gov. Deval L. Patrick on July 8, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Hampden County and the adjacent counties of Berkshire, Hampshire and Worcester in Massachusetts; and Hartford, Litchfield and Tolland in Connecticut.
“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Massachusetts with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes with federal disaster loans,” said Administrator Contreras-Sweet. “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:
Holyoke Fire Department
Fire Commissioners Conference Room
600 High Street
Holyoke, Massachusetts 01040
Opens: Wednesday, July 16
Hours: Wednesday, July 16 through Thursday, July 24 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, July 18 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, July 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Closed: Sunday, July 20
Closing: Thursday, July 24 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 SBA Massachusetts District Director Robert H. Nelson.
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 2.188 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.
Individuals and businesses 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 September 12, 2014. The deadline to return economic injury applications is April 14, 2015.