Disaster loan centers opening

Debris and water from the adjacent Kankakee River cover a flooded Jeffers Park and a closed Water Street in Kankakee in February.

The centers are in Iroquois, Kankakee and Vermilion counties in Illinois and will open on Saturday to help businesses and residents affected by severe storms and flooding from Feb. 14 through March 4.

Small Business Administration representatives can provide information about disaster loans, answer questions and help businesses and residents in completing the SBA application.

The declaration covers Iroquois, Kankakee and Vermilion counties and Champaign, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Grundy, Livingston and Will in Illinois; and Benton, Lake, Newton, Vermillion and Warren in Indiana.

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Illinois with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said in a statement. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

“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 Robert Steiner, the federal agency’s district director.

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 Richard Morgan, acting director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

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

Interest rates are as low as 3.58 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations and 1.813 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amount and terms are set by the SBA and are based on financial condition.

Applicants may apply online using the electronic loan application via 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 returned to a 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 6, 2018. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Feb. 7, 2019.

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