December 16, 2018

Disaster relief available from SBA

Loan outreach center operating at Deep River Township Hall

Posted

DEEP RIVER TWP. — A request by Gov. Rick Snyder for physical and economic disaster assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration due to severe flooding in late February has been approved, and the SBA will meet with flood victims over the next several days.

Arenac County Emergency Management Coordinator Ed Rohn announced Saturday, March 31, that the request was approved. He said a disaster loan outreach center was set up at the Deep River Township Hall in Sterling Tuesday, April 3. It is set to operate until Tuesday, April 10. The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 3-6 and April 9. Saturday it is scheduled to be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 10 the center will operate from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is closed Sunday, April 8.

“They can just stop by anytime during the hours that are posted,” Rohn said. “If they’re unable to attend, there is a number they can call.”

Rohn said people who can’t make it to the center can call 800-965-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Overall, Rohn said he feels like once the pieces started moving, the SBA approval came rather quickly.

“Once the wheels started turning, it developed nearly overnight,” he said. “It’s just that there’s a delay when you have to do damage assessment and submit that to the state, and a determination is made then if we would qualify for (Federal Emergency Management Agency) federal funds, and when we did not have enough damage to qualify for that, then the governor requested the Small Business Administration to come in and we had to redo the assessment to make sure we met their qualifications. There were a few weeks there where I wish things could’ve moved in a more expedient manner. But once the request was made, the SBA responded quickly.”

The deadline to file for physical damage loans is May 29. The deadline for economic injury loans is Dec. 31. A press release from the SBA states disaster loans are available for physical damage and economic injury in Arenac, Berrien, Ingham and Kalamazoo counties, and the contiguous counties of Allegan, Barry, Bay, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Clinton, Eaton, Gladwin, Iosco, Jackson, Livingston, Ogemaw, Saint Joseph, Shiawassee and Van Buren.

Three types of loans will be made available to those affected by the flooding — Business Physical Disaster Loans, Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Home Disaster Loans.

Business Physical Disaster Loans are available to businesses to repair or replaced damaged property a business owns. According to an SBA press release, this includes real estate, inventory, supplies, machinery and equipment. Businesses of any size as well as nonprofit organizations, churches or schools are eligible. Interest on loans to businesses depends on credit availability.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans can provide working capital to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and nonprofit organizations of all sizes to meet ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met due to the disaster, per the SBA press release.

Home Disaster Loans to homeowners or renters can also be approved to repair or replace damaged real estate and personal property, including automobiles, the SBA press release states.

Interest rates for loans vary in most cases, the press release states. If a business is unable to borrow from a different source, the interest rate is 3.58 percent. If a business does have the ability to receive credit from a different source but seeks an SBA loan, the interest rate is 7.16 percent.

Nonprofit loans carry an interest rate of 2.5 percent. Economic injury loans for businesses and small agricultural cooperatives are only available if credit cannot be acquired elsewhere and have an interest rate of 3.58 percent. Economic injury loans to nonprofits have a 2.5 percent interest rate. Home loans carry an interest rate of 1.813 percent if the loan recipient cannot receive financial assistance from a different institution and 3.635 percent if he or she can.

Applicants must meet credit history requirements acceptable to the SBA, show the ability to repay the loans and provide collateral for physical loss and economic injury loans over $25,000. Real estate can be used as collateral, and a lack of collateral does not mean a loan will be declined as long as applicants pledge what is available, according to the press release.

Business and economic injury loans are capped at $2 million, and home loans are limited to $200,000 for real estate repairs or replacements, or $40,000 for personal property repairs or replacements. Only uninsured losses qualify for assistance, according to the SBA press release. Repairs to secondary homes, personal pleasure boats, airplanes and recreational vehicles are not eligible for relief. Applicants who do not comply with SBA requirements are also ineligible.

The Deep River Township Hall is located at 525 E. State St. in Sterling.

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