Small Business Administration reopens application process for those damaged by superstorm Sandy

REISTERSTOWN — Businesses and residents on the lower Eastern Shore that were affected by Superstorm Sandy in 2012 have more time to request low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and the SBA announced jointly today. The new deadline to submit applications for physical damage and economic injury losses is Dec. 1, 2016.

 

“It’s not often that those affected by a disaster get another opportunity to apply for assistance three years after the event,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “If you live or own a business in the four counties on Maryland’s lower Eastern Shore and suffered losses from Sandy, and for whatever reason decided not to apply for a loan, you have an opportunity to reconsider. The loan rates are very low and could help those still struggling to get back on their feet.”

 

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet reopened the filing period for SBA disaster loans effective Dec. 2, following the recently approved Recovery Improvements for Small Entities (RISE) After Disaster Act of 2015. This Act allows those affected by Superstorm Sandy another opportunity to apply for low-interest disaster loans to recover from the effects of storm.

 

Because of the way the SBA structures their disaster declarations, the area is covered by two different declarations. Somerset County is the primary county for one declaration, and Worcester County is the primary jurisdiction in the other. Because contiguous counties are also eligible for SBA assistance, the following counties also qualify: Dorchester and Wicomico in Maryland, Sussex in Delaware and Accomack in Virginia.

 

SBA’s customer service representatives will be available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications. The Somerset County Center is located in Crisfield and will be open at McCready Memorial Hospital’s Outpatient Center-Outpatient Entrance, 201 Hall Highway, weekdays starting Tuesday, Dec. 8, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations may be eligible for 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.

 

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

 

Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses, 3 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.688 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amount and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, for mitigation purposes which are improvements to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

 

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Businesses and individuals may obtain loan applications or information 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 e-mailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Applications can be downloaded at www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be returned to the Disaster Loan Outreach Center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155

 

The deadline to file for physical property damage and economic injury is Dec. 1, 2016.

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