From staff reports
The U.S. Small Business Administration flood disaster relief field office is now open to help the city’s flood victims recover.
The office is located at the Howard County Emergency Management Agency office at 627 S. Berkley Road, next to the county highway garage.
SBA officials will be in Kokomo until the end of the day May 23, with office hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, and 8 a.m. to noon this Saturday. The office will be closed Sunday.
Both individuals and businesses can apply for low-interest loans. SBA officials can help applicants determine whether they qualify for the loan assistance.
The SBA offers three main types of assistance:
• Home Disaster Loans — Loans to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate or personal property owned by the victim. Renters are eligible for their personal property losses, including automobiles.
• Business Physical Disaster Loans — Loans to businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible. Private, nonprofit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc., are also eligible.
• Economic Injury Disaster Loans — Working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period.
Applicants must have a credit history acceptable to SBA, and must show the ability to repay all loans. Collateral is required for physical loss loans over $14,000 and all EIDL loans over $5,000. The SBA takes real estate as collateral when it is available. SBA guidelines state the agency will not decline a loan for lack of collateral, however.
By law, the interest rates depend on whether each applicant has credit available elsewhere. An applicant does not have credit available elsewhere when SBA determines the applicant does not have sufficient funds or other resources, or the ability to borrow from non-government sources, to provide for its own disaster recovery.
Interest rates are fixed for the term of the loan, and range between 1.7 percent and 6 percent.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
Individuals and businesses unable to visit one the centers may also 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 sending an email to email@example.com. Loan applications can also be downloaded from the SBA’s website at www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be returned to a 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 July 9. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Feb. 10, 2014.
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