County eligible for federal disaster loans after flooding

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

Dubois County residents and businesses whose property was affected by spring flooding can now apply for low-interest federal disaster loans.

An outreach center to help people with that process will open Friday in Huntingburg’s Old Town Hall.

“After a long process, we finally met the threshold,” Dubois County Emergency Management Agency Director Tammy Humbert said this morning.

Heavy rains hit parts of the county the last weekend in April and wreacked havoc, damaging homes and vehicles, closing multiple roads, submerging fields and resulting in an emergency declaration by county officials.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday that the county and surrounding counties — Crawford, Daviess, Martin, Orange, Perry, Pike, Spencer and Warrick — qualify for the low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The loans are available to residents, businesses and nonprofit organizations.

“Recovering from a disaster is difficult,” Holcomb said. “These low-interest loans are designed to support these counties as they continue to recover. It’s gratifying to secure these loans, especially for Dubois County, as initially we were not sure if it would be eligible.”

Homeowners can apply for a disaster loan up to $200,000 to repair or replace real estate property damaged or destroyed due to the flooding. Homeowners and renters can apply for up to $40,000 for damaged or destroyed personal property. Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may apply for up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.

Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes.  Eligible mitigation improvements may now include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

Interest rates are as low as 3.215 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.938 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years.  Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition

The application deadline is Monday, Aug. 14.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, aquaculture small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers economic injury disaster loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. These loans are available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
The deadline for those applications is March 14, 2018.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ or applicants can download an application from SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Applications and information can also be obtained by calling SBA’s customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
Completed applications should be mailed to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Outreach center
SBA representatives will open an outreach center Friday morning at Old Town Hall, 309 N. Geiger St., Huntingburg, to help those wanting to apply for the loans and to answer questions. The hours of operation will be: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday. The center will close after Thursday, June 22.

Information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program can be found at www.sba.gov/disaster.




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