More than $10 million in disaster relief loans have been approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration in the wake of the historic 2019 Arkansas River Flood.
As of Friday, Tanya N. Garfield, director of the SBA’s West Disaster Field Operations Center, said SBA had approved federal $10,868,200 in federal disaster loans for businesses and residents along the Arkansas River.
The deadline to register for a federal loan is quickly approaching, and the local Disaster Recover Center in Mayflower is set to close Saturday.
“SBA’s disaster assistance employees are committed to helping businesses and residents rebuild as quickly as possible,” Garfield said. “Don’t miss out on any assistance you may be entitled to by not registering for help. You don’t need to wait for your insurance to settle or obtain a contractor’s estimate.”
SBA offers low interest, government loans to businesses of all sizes, as well as to nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters.
SBA spokesman Cynthia Cowell said homeowners and renters affected by the flooding incident are encouraged to apply for assistance.“If you are a homeowner or renter, FEMA may refer you to SBA,” she said. “SBA disaster loans are the primary source of money to pay for repair or replacement costs not fully covered by insurance or other compensation.”
Homeowners are able to borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their homes. They can also borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property, including vehicles.
Local businesses are also able to apply for disaster loans. However, the interest rate for businesses is higher than for individuals.
Homeowners and renters with no other load capabilities have 30 years to pay off the borrowed funds a 1.938% interest. Homeowners and renters who have other credit sources would have a 3.875% interest rate.
Business loans are accompanied by a 4% interest rate. However, businesses that have other loans and need want to apply for a SBA loan as well would have an 8% interest rate. For nonprofit organizations, the interest rate starts out at 2.75%.
Businesses can be approved for up to $2 million.
If approved, the federal funds will directly be allocated to the homeowner or business applicant. Cowell said that SBA loans are offered at low rates so that disaster victims can afford to recover.
“Our goal is to get people into the condition they were the day before the floods happened,” she told the Log Cabin Democrat. “That’s why we offer some pretty big loans. We also offer what’s called mitigation assistance. That’s on top of you loan to do things like raise your house or even just raise your utilities. A lot of people lost their utilities because they’re in the basement. We can help with that.”
Applicants can apply online at www. disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or can call the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-877-8339 for more information on the series offered.
The Faulkner County Disaster Recovery Center is located at the Mayflower Tornado Shelter, which is located behind the First Security Bank at 4 Grove Circle.