Metro Creative Connection
Fri Sep 24, 2021 7:00 AM
Editorial invited by Niagara County Legislative Assembly Speaker Becky Wydysh
In July, I wrote about the terrible storms and floods that caused enormous property damage in Niagara County. Torrential rains hit a line from Lewiston to Lockport, wreaking havoc in many areas below the escarpment. Thank you to everyone who took the time to file damage reports with Niagara County Emergency Services.
Now, I want to make sure that all residents affected by the July 20 storm are aware that they can apply for low interest disaster loans from the US Small Business Administration. In the announcement, Isabella Guzman, SBA Administrator, said: âThe mission-oriented SBA team stands ready to help small businesses and residents of Niagara County affected by severe storms and flash floods. July. We are committed to providing federal disaster loans quickly and efficiently, with a client-centric approach to help businesses and communities recover and rebuild.
This is certainly an important announcement that will hopefully bring some relief to those whose insurance will not cover all damages.
Here’s what you need to know about the SBA Disaster Loan Program. There are three different types of loans:
â Business physical disaster loans – Business loans to repair or replace property damaged by a business owned disaster, including real estate, inventory, supplies, machinery and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible. Private non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc. are also eligible.
â Economic disaster loans (EIDL) – Working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their regular and necessary financial obligations that cannot be respected because of the disaster. These loans are meant to help during the disaster recovery period.
â Disaster home loans – Loans to homeowners or tenants to repair or replace property and personal property damaged by disaster, including automobiles.
The loan program is designed with very favorable terms. Interest rates can be as low as 1.6% and terms can go up to 30 years. As with any loan, the SBA will examine credit history and repayment capacity.
Applicants can apply online, receive additional information about disaster assistance, and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela. Applicants can also call the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or send an email [emailÂ protected] for more information on SBA Disaster Assistance. Please note that the deadline for returning property damage claims is November 8, 2021. The deadline for returning economic damage claims is June 9, 2022.
Obviously, there have been many weather events and natural disasters across the country that have rightly garnered a lot of attention. So I want to recognize the efforts of our state and federal leaders who have worked hard to ensure that our community is not forgotten by having the SBA provide disaster loans to residents of Niagara County.