Loans available for September storm damage

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 | 7:58 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The Small Business Administration is providing home and business owners with loans to help cover the costs of damage from mid-September's severe storms, flooding and tornadoes, according a press release.

The loans are intended to help residents repair or replace uninsured or underinsured losses, said Garth MacDonald, a communication specialist at SBA.

Three types of loans are available: home disaster loans, business physical disaster loans and economic injury disaster loans.

Home disaster loans are available to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate or personal property. While renters can't use the loans on their residences, they are eligible for loans to replace lost personal property, such as automobiles.

Business loans can be used to repair or replace damaged real estate or personal property, including inventories, supplies, machines and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible, as are private nonprofit organizations, such as churches, charities and private universities.

Economic injury disaster loans are available to help small businesses, agricultural cooperatives and private nonprofit organizations meet necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a result of the disaster.

To apply for an association loan, register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency online or by calling 1-800-621-3362. After applying with FEMA, the association will send more information to those that qualify.

Most people qualify for low interest rates (2.875 percent for home loans and 4 percent for business loans), and most loans turn around as quickly as two weeks, MacDonald said.

"A lot people aren't aware — and they may have damage — that assistance is available to them," MacDonald said.

Applications for EDILs are due by Aug. 13, 2009. SBA disaster loan applications are due Jan. 12, 2009.

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