Disaster Assistance Approved for Victims of Centre County Fire
HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett today announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration approved his request to declare Centre County a disaster area after a devastating fire in Bellefonte damaged dozens of homes and businesses last month.
Small Business Administration (SBA) officials, along with local and state officials, conducted damage assessments at the site. The governor used the damage assessment results to support his assistance request to the SBA.
“We are grateful that the Small Business Administration granted our request for assistance for those affected by this fire,” Corbett said. “Financial assistance is necessary for some people to get their lives back in order.”
According to Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Glenn Cannon, the damage in Centre County from the Sept. 9 fire exceeds the SBA criteria of at least 25 homes and or businesses with uninsured losses of 40 percent or more of their estimated fair market value.
Low-interest loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. SBA regulations permit loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. Businesses and nonprofits can borrow up to $2 million to restore damaged or destroyed buildings, inventory, equipment and assets. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial qualifications.
The SBA has established a disaster loan outreach center at the Willowbank Building, 420 Holmes St., Room 144, Bellefonte, PA 16823. The outreach center will be open weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The center will close at the close of business on Tuesday, Oct. 2.
SBA customer service representatives will be on hand at the disaster loan outreach center to issue loan applications, answer questions about the disaster loan program, explain the application process and help individuals to complete their applications.
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., or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business loan applications can also be downloaded from the SBA Web site.
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. Victims may apply for disaster loans from SBA’s secure Web site.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Nov. 20. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 21, 2013.