For Immediate Release:
September 15, 2011
Residents – don’t throw away SBA applications
Hurricane Irene victims may be qualified for additional aid
NEPTUNE, NJ – Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone reminds residents impacted by Hurricane Irene to fill out and return their U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) applications.
“Many times, after residents register their loss with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), they might get an application from the SBA,” Arnone said. “These applications are not just for businesses or low-interest disaster loans.”
Typically, people think the loans are only for businesses or they simply do not want to take out a low-interest disaster loan, so they may push the SBA documents to the side or possibly discard them.
“This is where people tend to take themselves out of the process,” Federal Coordinating Officer William L. Vogel said. “They don’t complete the paperwork and miss out on FEMA aid beyond help with home repairs and rental assistance.”
Applicants should know:
- SBA disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair/replace real estate.
- Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 from SBA to repair/replace personal property.
- Interest rates for residents are as low as 2.5 percent with terms for as long as 30 years.
- Businesses 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.
- The interest rate is as low as 3 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses.
Filling out the SBA home loan application is a necessary step in order to be considered for some other forms of disaster assistance. Applicants may be eligible for more aid. If SBA is unable to approve a home loan, the applicant may be referred back to FEMA for some other disaster aid. For example, applicants may be awarded assistance for personal items, repair or replacement of a vehicle.
“If you received an SBA application, but haven’t done anything with it yet, please take another look,” Vogel said. “Contact FEMA or SBA for any questions you may have about the process.”
There are three ways to register – go to www.disasterassistance.gov, to m.fema.gov or call FEMA toll-free, 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Those with access or functional needs and who use a TTY may call 800-462-7585 or use 711 or Video Relay Service to call 800-621-3362. Telephone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., ET; multilingual operators are available.
For SBA information, call 800-659-2955 or visit the SBA website at www.sba.gov. One-to-one assistance is available from both SBA and FEMA representatives at Disaster Recovery Centers throughout the state. Representatives are there to answer questions and to assist survivors in applying for help.
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