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Posted: October 8, 2009 4:01 p.m.

SBA disaster loans not just for small businesses

In times of disaster, the U.S. Small Business Administration makes low-interest rate loans available to homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profit organizations of all sizes for uninsured losses. "SBA low-interest disaster loans are not just for businesses," said Mary Gipson, Communications Specialist, SBA Office of Disaster Assistance, Field Operations Center East.

Homeowners and renters can get up to $40,000 to cover personal property damage, homeowners can receive up to $200,000 to repair or replace primary homes, and businesses can get up to $2 million for physical losses and economic injury (working capital). Interest rates are as low as 2.75 percent for home loans and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years.

To begin the recovery process, every resident of Rockdale and Newton Counties affected by this disaster should register with FEMA at (800) 621-FEMA (3362). Gipson encourages anyone who receives and SBA disaster loan application to complete and return it as soon as possible.

Homeowners and renters unable to obtain disaster loans from SBA may be referred to FEMA for grant consideration. Individuals who fail to return completed applications to SBA may not be considered for all forms of disaster assistance.

According to Gipson, it takes 14 days from the date SBA receives completed applications to make decisions on home loans and 18 days for business loans. There is no obligation to accept an SBA loan.

Residents may visit the Disaster Recovery Center at 1400 Parker Road in Conyers for one-one-assistance. The Center is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., but will close Saturday, Oct. 10, at the close of business. Anyone may obtain an SBA Disaster Loan application or program information by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955. Victims can also apply for disaster loans from SBA's secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

The deadline to apply for physical damage is Nov. 23, 2009. The filing deadline for applications for economic injury is June 24, 2010.


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