Sba Disaster Loans Surpass $1.7 Million

James L. Seward

July 20, 2006

More than $1.7 million in low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration is going to NewYorkers who suffered damages from the record-setting June floods, Senator James L. Seward said today.

Seward said low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are not just for businesses but also are available for homeowners and renters in the disaster-designated counties of Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Orange, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan, Tioga, and Ulster.

The SBA is the federal government’s primary resource for long-term disaster recovery financing. Through its disaster loan program, the SBA provides affordable, timely, and accessible assistance to homeowners, renters and businesses that experienced damages and losses in the affected areas. In fact, 80 percent of all SBA disaster assistance is currently made to homeowners.

Homeowners and renters can use their SBA disaster loans to repair or replace uninsured or underinsured flood-damaged personal property, while homeowners can receive help with repair or replacement of their primary residence. The loan terms are designed to be affordable, with terms that can go up to 30 years and interest rates as low as 2.9 percent for homeowners and renters and 4.0 percent for businesses.

Federal Coordinating Officer Marianne C. Jackson said the loan amount would be based on the actual cost of repairing a resident’s damaged home and personal property, minus any insurance settlements or other reimbursements or grants within SBA lending limits. Filing an application does not obligate the applicant to accept a loan.

Filling out the SBA application is a necessary step to be considered for some other forms of disaster assistance.

"Individuals who do not qualify for SBA loans may be referred to other available disaster aid programs," Jackson said. "This may include grants to help pay for repair or replacement of personal property, transportation costs and other serious disaster-related expenses."

Businesses of any size may also be eligible for disaster loans to repair or replace machinery, equipment, and inventory not covered by insurance. Eligible businesses may also apply for working capital funds to help cover necessary and on-going expenses during the disaster recovery period.

Current loan limits are as follows:

Homeowners — Up to $200,000 to repair or rebuild a primary residence to its predisaster condition.

Homeowners and renters — Up to $40,000 to repair/replace personal property such as clothing, furniture and automobiles.

Businesses — Up to $1.5 million to repair or replace damaged facilities and business contents.

Economic injury — Up to $1.5 million for working capital.

Those who need additional SBA information can call: 1-800-659-2955 or visit the SBA Web site at

Flood victims can also talk with SBA representatives or get help filling out their application at disaster assistance service centers located throughout the affected area.

You can register for assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Individuals with hearing or speech impairments should call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. The lines are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily. You can also register online at

You can also register for New York’s State Individual and Family Grant Program by calling 1-888-7-NYS-AID (1-888-769-7243) or (TTY) NYS Relay 711or register online at

The state lines are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.