Friday, February 5, 2010

U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION APPROVES DISASTER LOAN PROGRAMS FOR BRADFORD COUNTY

TALLAHASSEE – Florida emergency management officials today announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved disaster loan funds for Bradford County residents and businesses in response to a tornado, severe storms and flooding that occurred on January 21.

On January 29, Governor Charlie Crist sent a letter to SBA Administrator Karen Mills, requesting a disaster declaration. The declaration covers Bradford County and the adjacent counties of Alachua, Baker, Clay, Putnam and Union.

“We are grateful that affected residents and businesses in Bradford County will now have access to low-interest loan programs to begin the rebuilding process,” said David Halstead, interim director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

The SBA offers loans of up to $200,000 to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans of up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Interest rates are as low as 2.625 percent for homeowners and renters, three percent for non-profits and four percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Loan applications for physical damages can be filed until the close of business on September 29, 2010. Loan applications for economic injury can be filed until the close of business on May 1, 2010.

Small Business Administration customer service representatives will be on hand at the following location at the times listed below:

Bradford County
Bradford County Safety Complex (Directly behind the Bradford County Courthouse)
945 B North Temple Avenue
Starke, Florida 32091
Opens: Tuesday, Feb. 9
Open: Tuesday, Feb. 9 – Thursday, Feb. 18, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed: Saturday, Feb. 13 - Monday, Feb. 15
Closing: Thursday, Feb. 18 at the close of business

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 (800) 659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), Monday through Friday from 8am to 6pm EST or by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Business loan applications can also be downloaded from the SBA Web site 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 Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is April 5, 2010. The deadline to return economic injury applications is November 4, 2010.

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