Administrator Linda McMahon of the U.S. Small Business Administration (US-SBA) issued the following statement after the announcement of the Presidential disaster declaration for Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands affected by Hurricane Maria that began on Sept. 16:
“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans. Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”
The disaster declaration covers Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, which is eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.
Businesses and nonprofits can apply up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Loans for working capital, known as Economic Injury Disaster Loans, are available even if the business did not suffer any physical damage.
Homeowners can apply for up to $200,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged real estate. Homeowners and renters can apply up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged personal property including automobiles.
Interest rates are as low as 3.305 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations, and 1.75 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA customizes loan amounts and terms based on each applicant’s circumstances.
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 to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela
To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or on the FEMA mobile App. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Services may also call 800-621-3362. People who use TTY may call 800-462-7585.
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 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Completed applications should be returned to a recovery center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76155. For more information about SBA recovery assistance, visit www.sba.gov/disaster
The filing deadline to submit applications for physical property damage is Nov. 20, 2017. The deadline for economic injury applications is June 20, 2018.