Local families affected by this year’s May storms could be eligible for federal aid.


Local families affected by this year’s May storms could be eligible for federal aid.

Damage from severe storms, flooding and tornadoes that rolled through the area from May 8 through May 16, 2009, is covered by a presidential disaster declaration.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is offering loans for those affected by the storm.

The filing deadline is August 18 for physical damage applications.

Available loans cover damaged homes, businesses or economic injury loans.

Residents who apply and qualify for the loans are not required to accept them, said Burl Kelton, SBA communication specialist.

Kelton spent most of Friday canvassing local businesses to spread the word about loan availability.

“Our loan covers the uncompensated damages,” Kelton said.

The loans are meant as a fill-in for where insurance stops or for the uninsured.

They are low-interest and long-term – up to 30 years.

Applicants need to have an acceptable credit history, show ability to repay the loans, and for some loans collateral is required.

Interest rates begin at 2.437 percent for homeowners and 4 percent or businesses and non-profit organizations.

Counties included in the disaster declaration are: Adair, Barry, Barton, Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Dent, Douglas, Greene, Howell, Iron, Jasper, Jefferson, Laclede, Lawrence, Madison, Newton, Ozark, Polk, Reynolds, Ripley, St. Francois, Shannon, Texas, Washington, and Webster.

For more information on the SBA disaster loan program, contact the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or visit their Web site at: www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

For more information about FEMA assistance, call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or visit their Web site at: www.disasterassistance.gov.

“To my knowledge, there have been no disaster recovery centers established, but if anyone has any questions or needs assistance, they can contact my office,” said Gary Roark, Newton County Emergency Management Director.

The office number is 451-4357.

NEED TO KNOW
Home Loans:
Loans to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate or personal property.
Limit of $200,000 for real estate and $40,000 personal property.

Business Loans:
Loans to business owners to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate, inventory, supplies, machinery and equipment.
Non-profit organizations also qualify for these loans.
Limit of $2 million.

Economic injury loans:
Working capital for small businesses, agricultural cooperatives, non-profit organization with resources strained as a result of the disaster.
Limit of $2 million.