Feds approve flood loans


DARKE COUNTY — Residents of Darke and Mercer Counties affected by flooding in June and July may be able to get assistance through low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

On Aug. 19, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced that businesses and residences affected by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding from June 7 through July 29 can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the SBA.

Contreras-Sweet made the loans available in response to a letter from Indiana Governor Michael R. Pence on Aug. 13, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA.

The declaration covers multiple counties in Indiana, two counties in Kentucky, as well as Darke and Mercer Counties in Ohio.

Director of the Darke County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management Mindy Saylor said, “This disaster assistance is made available to Darke County home owners, renters and small business owners through an Indiana Federal Disaster declaration which is extended to contiguous counties. Those that suffered physical damages to real estate as a result of the flooding are eligible to apply for the low interest loans.”

Saylor added, “Since Darke County did not meet the federal threshold for disaster assistance we are relieved to have it made available to our residents and business owners through the State of Indiana. Since this is a Federal program, state lines are non-existent. We hope those in need are able to take advantage of the program.”

Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, to make improvements that help prevent the risk of future property damage caused by a similar disaster.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.625 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 apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Individuals and businesses may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing [email protected].

Loan applications can also be downloaded by visiting www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Oct. 19, 2015. The deadline to return economic injury applications is May 18, 2016.

Available to Darke, Mercer Co. residents

By Erik Martin

[email protected]

Erik Martin may be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 937-569-4314.

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