ATLANTA, Ga. – The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Electronic Loan Application (ELA) is allows homeowners, renters and businesses to apply for a disaster loan for Hurricane Sandy damages without visiting a Disaster Recovery Center or mailing in a paper loan application.
According to SBA’s Region II Regional Administrator Jorge Silva-Puras, the online program checks for errors, prompts for more information when needed and provides a quicker decision than the hand-written applications. He urged all New Jerseyans affected by the storm to visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela to apply online.
“We want everyone impacted by Hurricane Sandy to take advantage of the federal programs that are available to help them with their uninsured losses,” said Silva-Puras. “In times of disasters, SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to fund repairs to homes, personal property and businesses losses. As a result of registering with FEMA, many homeowners and renters are referred to SBA even though they do not own a business.”
“There is no cost to apply and there is no obligation to take the loan if it is offered,” he added. “However those that do not submit their SBA disaster loan applications may limit their recovery options and the opportunity to be referred to other agencies.”
The disaster declaration covers the counties of Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset and Union in New Jersey, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private non-profit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Morris and Passaic in New Jersey; Bronx, New York, Rockland and Westchester in New York.
Disaster home and business loans are available to repair disaster damaged real estate and replace damaged contents. Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes having difficulties meeting operating expenses because of the disaster.
Interest rates are as low as 1.688 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses, with maximum up to 30-year repayment terms.
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can apply for assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice. Those in affected areas with access to the internet may register by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov, or online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 31. The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 31, 2013.
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