BROOKVILLE â€” The Jefferson County Department of Emergency Services is reminding residents and businesses affected by severe storms and flooding between June 27 and July 12 that they can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration at a Disaster Loan Outreach Center set up in Reynoldsville.
According to Tracy W. Zents, Director of Emergency Services, loans are available in response to a letter from Gov. Tom Corbett on July 12, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA.
The declaration covers Jefferson, Clearfield and Fayette counties and the adjacent counties of Armstrong, Blair, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clinton, Elk, Forest, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland.
"We meet the thresholds needed for the SBA declaration, and this is one of the programs (where) residents and businesses can apply for loans to get damages repaired," Zents said. "We are still working with the
Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to see what other programs are available to help our residents, along with helping out municipalities with their damages. This is the first step."
"The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Pennsylvania with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes with federal disaster loans," said Karen Mills, administrator for the SBA. "Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA."
"Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damages or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property," said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA's Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.
SBA's customer service representatives are available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Centers to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.
According to Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Glenn Cannon, the damage from the flooding exceeds the SBA criteria of at least 25 homes and/or businesses with uninsured losses of 40 percent or more of their estimated fair market value.
The SBA has established a disaster loan outreach center at the First United Methodist Church of Reynoldsville, 504 Jackson St., Reynoldsville, PA 15851-1356.
The center will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Friday, and next Monday and Tuesday; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 27. It will be closed Sunday, July 28.
SBA customer service representatives will be on hand at the center to issue loan applications, answer questions about the Disaster Loan Program, explain the application process and help individuals complete their applications.
Individuals and businesses unable to visit the center in person may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business loan applications can also be downloaded from the SBA website at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Rd., Fort Worth, TX 76155.
Victims may apply for disaster loans from SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damages is Sept. 16.
The deadline to return economic injury applications is April 16, 2014.