The U. S. Small Business Administration is asking hurricane victims to return disaster loan applications before the March 11 deadline. These low-interest disaster loans are available to homeowners, renters, business owners and non-profit organizations that suffered damages as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
A completed application will also keep the door open to other types of assistance. If the SBA is unable to approve a loan for a homeowner or renter, the applicant may be automatically referred to other available disaster assistance programs, including grants. Those who do not return a completed SBA application may be disqualifying themselves from any further assistance.
In the declared counties, SBA offers loans of up to $200,000 to repair disaster damaged homes. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to replace personal property. Loans to businesses and non-profit organizations up to $1.5 million are available to repair damage to real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory, and for leasehold improvements. Working capital assistance is also available to small businesses through SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. A business need not have physical damage to be eligible for economic injury assistance.
Disaster victims are reminded that to be considered for federal disaster assistance, including SBA's disaster loans, they must first call FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The deadline for returning applications for physical damage is March 11; the deadline to return economic injury applications is May 29.