SBA Offers Aid to Residents, Businesses Affected by Tornado

May 11, 2015  
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Disaster Loan Outreach Center to Open at City’s Henry T. Jones Community Center

Jacksonville residents and businesses affected by the April 25 EF-1 tornado can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) starting today at 11 a.m.
 
The City of Jacksonville is providing space at the Henry T. Jones Community Center at 3856 Grant Road for a Disaster Loan Outreach Center, where residents and business owners can connect with SBA staff to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications. Hours for the Center are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 16. The Center will be closed on Sunday, May 17. Services will be offered beginning on Monday, May 11, and end on Tuesday, May 19, at 5:30 p.m.
 
SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet made the loans available in response to a letter from
Governor Rick Scott on May 6, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Duval County and the adjacent counties of Baker, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns. Duval County Emergency Preparedness assisted efforts by the State and the SBA.

“Tornadoes can happen with little warning, especially here in Northeast Florida. That’s why it’s so important for our residents and businesses to be prepared,” said Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown. “I’m grateful for the quick response and strong cooperation among the City’s Emergency Preparedness team, the State of Florida, and the Small Business Administration to help Jacksonville residents and businesses recover from this storm and get back on their feet.”
 
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.
 
“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 Wilfredo Gonzalez, SBA’s district director in Jacksonville, Florida.
 
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private nonprofit organizations, 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.
 
“Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate.  Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East.
 
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 (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
 
Businesses and individuals 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 emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan applications can also 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 July 7, 2015.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is February 8, 2016.
 
To connect with resources to help your family prepare for events like a tornado or tropical storm, visit the City’s Emergency Preparedness Division online at www.JaxReady.com