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

WASHINGTON – Pennsylvania residents and businesses affected by severe storms and flooding between June 26 and July 21 can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, according to SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills.

Mills made the loans available in response to a letter from Gov. Tom Corbett on Aug. 7, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA.  The declaration covers Lawrence County and the adjacent counties of Beaver, Butler and Mercer in Pennsylvania and Columbiana and Mahoning in Ohio.

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Pennsylvania with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes with federal disaster loans,” said Mills.  “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:

  • Lawrence County, Lawrence County Community Action, 241 W. Grant St., New Castle, PA 16101
  • Opening:  Aug. 20 at 8:30 a.m.
  • Hours: Aug. 20-23 and Aug. 26-27 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Aug. 24 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; and closed Aug. 25
  • Closing:  Aug. 27 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 Carl Knoblock, SBA’s Pittsburgh district director.

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 1.875 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.875 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.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site athttps://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Individuals and businesses unable to visit the center 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 emailingdisastercustomerservice@sba.gov. 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 Rd., Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Oct. 14.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is May 14, 2014.

For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program, visit its Web site at www.sba.gov/disaster.

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