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Local

SBA offers disaster assistance to residents

The residents and businesses of Coal City who were affected by the June 22 EF3 tornado have the opportunity to apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

In addition, residents and businesses affected by other severe storms and flooding between June 7 and July 31 also can apply, according to a news release from the SBA.

“Any time you can get help to come in, it’s good news,” Grundy Emergency Management Agency Director Joe Schroeder said. “The tornado didn’t meet the requirement for the presidential disaster declaration for FEMA, but it met this requirement.”

Schroeder said it’s hard to predict if people will take advantage of it, but it’s important to let them know the opportunity is there. He said whether residents pursue it can depend where they are in their recovery process, but the hope is to get the word out.

Schroeder said it came down to SBA and FEMA as assistance options. He said many people affected by the tornado were insured, which plays a factor in disaster declaration. Also, assistance requirement thresholds have grown higher.

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet made the loans available in response to a letter from Gov. Bruce Rauner on Aug. 27, requesting a disaster declaration, according to the release. The declaration covers Grundy and Iroquois counties and the adjacent counties of Ford, Kankakee, Kendall, LaSalle, Livingston, Vermilion and Will; as well as Benton and Newton counties in Indiana.

“Businesses and nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets,” said SBA’s Illinois District Director Robert Steiner in the release.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL 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.

Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.625 percent for nonprofit organizations and 1.688 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 be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, to make improvements that help prevent the risk of future property damage caused by a similar disaster.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website, disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Businesses and individuals also may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or by emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Completed applications should be sent 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 Nov. 2.

The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 3.

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IF YOU GO

WHAT: Grundy County SBA loan center

WHEN: Opens Wednesday and closes Sept. 17. Hours will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12.

WHERE: Coal City Public Library District, 85 N. Garfield St., Coal City

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