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SBA offers loans for flood damage recovery

ATLANTA — The U.S. Small Business Administration has added Mahoning and surrounding counties to the disaster declaration in Ohio for businesses and residents affected by the Severe Storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, flooding and landslides on May 27 through 29, 2019. To date, SBA has approved over $5.3 million in low-interest disaster loans for Ohioans. The disaster declaration covers includes Mahoning County which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Columbiana, Portage, Stark and Trumbull in Ohio; and Lawrence and Mercer in Pennsylvania.

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Applicants may be eligible for a loan increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

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

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

Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations and 1.938 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Businesses can receive free assistance with reconstructing financial records, preparing financial statements and submitting the loan application from any of SBA’s partners: Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, Women’s Business Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov. To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.

Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Aug. 19, 2019. The deadline to return economic injury applications is March 18, 2020.

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