Small Business Administration issues disaster declaration; low-interest loans available

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Volunteer Robert Cook helped clean out a home on Lakeshore Drive in Marble Falls in October after historic flooding. Staff photo by Jared Fields

Volunteer Robert Cook helped clean out a home on Lakeshore Drive in Marble Falls in October after historic flooding. Staff photo by Jared Fields

Homeowners, renters, and business owners who suffered losses and damages due to the October 2018 flood now could be eligible for low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The SBA issued a disaster declaration for several Texas counties, including Burnet and Llano counties, for the severe storms and flooding that occurred Sept. 10-Nov. 2, 2018.

The declaration makes SBA assistance available in Burnet, Llano, Blanco, Travis, and Williamson counties along with 15 other counties. To assist residents and businesses, the SBA has set up three Disaster Loan Outreach Centers. The locations and hours of those centers are:

  • Burnet County — Courthouse Annex South, 810 Steve Hawkins Parkway in Marble Falls. Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m Mondays-Fridays
  • Llano County — First Baptist Church, 3435 RR 1431 in Kingsland. Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays
  • Travis County — West Service Center, 4501 FM 620 North in Austin. Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays

While a federal disaster declaration in February for Burnet and Llano counties opened up Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation grant programs for local governments for reimbursement for expenses, it didn’t necessarily address needs of homeowners, businesses, and nonprofits.

“Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and renters whose property was damaged or destroyed by this disaster,” said Tanya N. Garfield, director of the SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

The SBA will have representatives on hand at the outreach centers to answer questions about the administration’s disaster loan program as well as help people through the application process.

Businesses and private nonprofits may borrow up to $2 million for property losses and damages as well as economic injury assistance if the flood causes a loss in business, revenues, and fundraising or economic hardships. A business or eligible nonprofit need not have suffered property damage to apply for the economic injury assistance.

Homeowners are eligible for disaster loans up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Renters and homeowners can also seek up to $40,000 loans to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates can be as low as 3.675 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for private nonprofits, and 2 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may also apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information, and download applications at the SBA’s website. People can also contact the SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information.

The deadline to apply for property damage is May 6, 2019. The deadline to apply for economic injury is Dec. 6, 2019.

editor@thepicayune.com

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