February 19—The United States Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Disaster Assistance Office offers funds to help those affected by the January floods in the Chehalis River Basin and beyond.
“These are low-interest government loans for businesses of all sizes, non-profit organizations … as well as homeowners or tenants,” said Barbara Nitis, public information officer at the SBA Office of Disaster Assistance. “Qualified persons are those who, during the incident from January 5 to 16, suffered any type of physical damage.”
As an example, she said those who had water damage on their floors in their homes were eligible.
“(They’re for) anything that’s basically the result of flooding or winter weather – that’s what happened during this time,” Nitis said.
Loans are available for businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventory, supplies, machinery and equipment.
These services extend to businesses of all sizes as well as non-profit organizations.
There are also Economic Disaster Loans (EIDLs) available to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and small businesses engaged in aquaculture. Residential disaster loans are available to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and personal property, including automobiles.
Owners can apply even if they don’t operate a business from home, or even if they don’t own a business at all, Nitis said. However, second homes and second vehicles will not qualify, she said.
To help connect people to loans, the SBA has opened a Disaster Loan Awareness Center at the Lewis County Courthouse in Room 121 to help people who have questions or need help. to complete the request. SBA staff will assist people from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through March 3.
According to a press release, the SBA has made available to homeowners low-interest loans of up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate.
An additional $40,000 is available to eligible landlords and tenants to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.
A borrowing limit of $2 million has been imposed on businesses and nonprofit organizations that need to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory and other business assets.
Tenants can receive up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property.
Interest rates start at 2.83% for businesses, 1.875% for private nonprofits, and 1.438% for homeowners and tenants with terms up to 30 years.
“Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial situation,” the statement said.
The program also offers resettlement and mitigation services.
Mitigation funds come on a case-by-case basis and are used to help reduce future flood damage, Nitis said. People can qualify for up to an additional 20% of their qualified loan amount.
“And for relocation, if you’re in a flood zone, you can move to somewhere that’s not in a flood zone,” she said. “So they have that option as well. We cover the deductibles and there are no closing costs.”
Nitis added: “It really helps everyone. That’s why I say, ‘At least apply and see what your options are.
Applicants can apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information, and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. Applicants may also call the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email [email protected] for more information. People who are hard of hearing can call 800-877-8339.