SBA staff help Hurricane Ida victims apply for disaster loans

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An SBA staff member helps victims of Hurricane Ida at a local recovery center.(Source: WVUE)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – For some people, insurance will not cover all damage caused by Hurricane Ida and others may not have insurance at all, and again, others may not be. eligible for FEMA grants. So the Small Business Administration is on the ground in Southeast Louisiana to help fill the void.

Jo Ann Lawrence is Assistant District Director for the SBA District Office in Louisiana.

“Our Hurricane Ida statement is designed to help businesses of all sizes, landlords, tenants, private non-profit organizations such as charities and churches and some co-ops are eligible for assistance,” Lawrence said.

She said tenants can also apply for loans. “Renters please apply, Renters would be eligible for up to $ 40,000 to repair or replace their personal property. Homeowners up to 200,000 to repair their personal residences, ”Lawrence said.

The loan limits are even higher for businesses.

“Two million for physical damage and two million for economic damage. However, the total for businesses between physical damage and economic damage cannot exceed $ 2 million, ”Lawrence said.

She said the SBA examines applicants’ overall credit history.

“We get a lot of questions about credit; Will SBA consider our credit? We will pull your credit report, but review your overall credit history. Also, if you previously had an SBA loan and needed to get insurance and didn’t get that insurance, unfortunately we wouldn’t be able to help you, ”Lawrence said. “You need to be up to date with your federal obligations, like your federal income taxes, and you can’t have defaulted on another federally guaranteed loan, like student loans. “

People who get loans will have decades to pay them back.

“Thirty years, fixed rate; for owners and tenants 1.563%, very low interest rate. For businesses, fixed rate of 2.855% for 30 years. For private non-profit associations, charities and churches 2% for 30 years. That’s a long time for a low interest rate, ”Lawrence said.

And she said it’s critical that everyone in disaster-declared areas apply to SBA just in case they don’t qualify for FEMA grants. “If you sit and wait and say, I know I’m not going to be SBA approved, so I’m just not going to apply; to come back to FEMA, you have to be turned down by the SBA, ”Lawrence said.

The deadline for filing property damage claims is approaching.

“Critical deadline for physical damage, October 28, 2021, you must submit this request by October 28, 2021, but don’t wait until that date to apply,” Lawrence said. “For the economic damage, they have until May 31, 2022.”

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