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SBA Disaster Loans a key resource for recovery for hurricane survivors

Special to The Dallas Examiner | 10/16/2017, 9:58 a.m.
For Texas survivors of Hurricane Harvey, help from the U.S. Small Business Administration maby be an important part of the ...
Map showing Hurricane Harvey disaster and recovery areas where assistance is available. Federal Emergency Management Agency

Special to The Dallas Examiner

For Texas survivors of Hurricane Harvey, help from the U.S. Small Business Administration maby be an important part of the recovery process.

Low-interest, long-term SBA loans are the primary source of federal disaster recovery funds for damage not fully covered by insurance or other compensation.

Survivors should consider applying to the SBA even if they think they aren’t interested in a loan. They may discover that insurance doesn’t cover some expenses or that there are more damage and expenses than originally estimated.

Applicants do not need to own a business to apply for a loan. They must have physical damage to their primary home in a county designated in the federal disaster declaration. Second homes and vacation properties are not eligible.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Businesses of all sizes and private non-profit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. Qualified rental properties may also be eligible for disaster assistance loans.

Interest rates can be as low as 3.305 percent for businesses and 1.75 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

SBA can also lend additional funds to homeowners and businesses to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

If SBA determines a homeowner or renter cannot afford an SBA loan, the agency will refer that person to FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance program.

SBA loan applications can be picked up at any State of Texas/federal Disaster Recovery Center. Apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Individuals who are hearing impaired may call 800-877-8339.

Completed applications should be 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 property damage is Oct. 24. The deadline to return economic injury applications is May 25, 2018.

For more information, visit http://www.fema.gov/disaster/4332.