New York businesses and residents affected by severe winter storms last month can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced.
Contreras-Sweet made the loans available in response to a letter from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Dec. 11 requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Erie County and the adjacent counties of Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Niagara and Wyoming.
"The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of New York with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans," Contreras-Sweet said. "Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA."
"Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate," said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA's field operations center east in Atlanta. "Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property."
"Businesses of any size and nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment; inventory; and other business assets," said SBA's Buffalo District Director Franklin Sciortino.
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 to 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, the SBA offers economic injury disaster loans 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 1.938 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 also may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA's customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing [email protected]. Loan applications can be downloaded at 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 Feb. 13, 2015. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Sept. 15, 2015.
For more information about the SBA's Disaster Loan Program, visit www.sba.gov/disaster.