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Pennsylvania businesses and residents affected by Tropical Storm Isaias on Aug. 4, 2020, can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Administrator Jovita Carranza announced.
Administrator Carranza made the loans available in response to a letter from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Dec. 14, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Berks and Philadelphia counties, and the adjacent counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery and Schuylkill in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden and Gloucester in New Jersey.
“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Pennsylvania with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans,” said Carranza. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”
In accordance with health precautions for the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the SBA will not establish a field presence to assist survivors. However, the SBA will continue to provide customer service and conduct outreach virtually with webinars, phone assistance and step-by-step application assistance. The SBA has opened Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Centers to help survivors apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan@sba.gov. Virtual customer support representatives are available to help applicants complete the online application during these hours:
Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Centers (VDLOCs)
Open: Monday – Sunday (7 days/week)Hours: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Eastern TimeClosed: Thursday, Dec. 24 and Friday, Dec. 25 in observance of the holidayEmail: FOCE-Help@sba.govPhone: (800) 659-2955
Survivors should contact the SBA’s Disaster Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 for assistance in completing their loan applications. Requests for SBA disaster loan program information may be obtained by emailing FOCE-Help@sba.gov. The SBA will conduct extensive outreach to ensure that those affected by the disaster have an opportunity to apply for assistance.
“Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets,” said SBA’s Pennsylvania’s District Director Steven Dixel.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan 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 Kem Fleming, acting center director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.
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 include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
Interest rates are as low as 3 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.188 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 the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.
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 sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be 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 Feb. 16, 2021. The deadline to return economic injury applications Sept. 20, 2021.
Disaster Loan Fact Sheet