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Posted: October 13, 2009 4:23 p.m.

SBA opens a third disaster center

The U.S. Small Business Administration announces today that they are establishing a Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Rockdale County. This will make the third

Disaster Loan Outreach Center open for disaster victims in Georgia. The establishment of this Center makes it convenient for disaster victims in Newton and Rockdale counties to get one-on-one assistance and to ensure that every qualified individual and business receives the help they need to recover from the severe storms and flooding that began on September 18, 2009 in Georgia.

"Assisting individuals and business owners to recover from a disaster is our primary mission," said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA Field Operations Center East. "We are encouraging anyone affected by this disaster to visit a center while we still have staff here and obtain individual assistance with completing their loan applications from our representatives."

Many residents and businesses that have registered with FEMA for assistance have received an SBA disaster loan application. Completing the loan application and returning it is a crucial step toward disaster recovery. Homeowners and renters unable to obtain a disaster loan from the SBA may be referred to FEMA for grant consideration. To be eligible for these grants, applicants must submit their SBA loan application even if they do not want a loan. No one is required to accept a loan.

The location of the center in Rockdale County is 1400 Parker Road, Conyers. The center is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"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," Skaggs added.

Businesses of any size and non-profit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, inventory, machinery and equipment. The SBA can also lend additional funds to help with the cost of making improvements that protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses and private non-profit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

Interest rates are as low as 2.750 percent for homeowners and renters, 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.

Anyone unable to visit one of the Centers may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EDT, or send an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Business loan applications may be downloaded from www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance. Applications may be returned to one of the Disaster Recovery Centers or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, Texas, 76155.

Georgia residents affected by this disaster may fill out a loan application online by visiting SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

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

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