Federal disaster loans available to businesses and homeowners hit by Oklahoma tornado

Oklahoma residents and business owners can now apply for low-interest federal disaster loans as a result of President Obama's declaration of a major disaster area, the U. S. Small Business Administration's chief, Karen G. Mills, has announced.

The declaration covers the Oklahoma counties of Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie as a result of the severe storms and tornadoes that began May 18, 2013.

"The U. S. Small Business Administration is strongly committed to providing Oklahoma with the most effective and customer-focused response possible and with access to federal disaster loans to help residents and businesses affected by the severe storms and tornadoes said Mills. "Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA."

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Businesses of any size and private, 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. SBA can also lend additional funds to homeowners and business owners to help with the cost of making improvements that protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size, 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 property damage.

Interest rates can be as low as 1.875 percent for homeowners and renters, 4 percent for businesses, and 2.875 percent for private, non profit organizations, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, victims must first call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at (800) 621-FEMA (3362). As soon as Federal-State Disaster Recovery Centers are opened throughout the affected area, SBA will provide one-on-one assistance to disaster loan applicants. Additional information and details on the location of disaster recovery centers is available by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955.

 

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