Federal Disaster Relief Loans
The U.S. Small Business Administration issued the following statement after the announcement of the Presidential disaster declaration for several counties in New Jersey affected by Hurricane Sandy that began on October 26, 2012:
"The U.S. Small Business Administration is strongly committed to providing the people of New Jersey with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist homeowners, renters, and businesses with federal disaster loans. Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA."
The disaster declaration covers Monmouth County, which is eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed personal property. Businesses and private non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.
The SBA may increase a loan up to 20% of the total amount of disaster damage to real estate and/or leasehold improvements, as verified by SBA, to make improvements that lessen the risk of property damage by future disasters of the same kind. For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage. Interest rates are as low as 1.688% for homeowners and renters, 3% for non-profit organizations and 4% for businesses with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition.
To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance applicants should call the FEMA toll-free Helpline at 800-621-3362.