Sandy victims have until March 1 to apply for a low interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA has $475 million to lend to homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profits in N.J. to for damages not covered by insurance.
You don’t need to be a small business owner to apply.
For individuals, loans cover uninsured or underinsured losses of up to $200,000 for real estate and $40,000 for personal property. For businesses, loans cover up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged physical property that isn’t covered by insurance. Homeowners and businesses can also apply for loans to mitigate and prevent future loss. Loans typically carry interest rates betwen four and eight percent.
There’s no cost to apply nor obligation to to take the funds if, say, insurance money comes through while waiting for the loan to be approved. Garth D. MacDonald, spokesman from the U.S. Small Business Administration, stresses those considering the loans that they just need to file basic information by March 1 to maintain eligibility for a loan at a later date, and that they don’t need to wait for insurance claims to be settled in order to apply.
These loans are for physical damage only. The deadline for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is July 31 (set that far back so businesses can apply for loans if, say, a motel in Wildwood loses half of its business because former customers saw a roller coaster in the ocean in Seaside and assumed the entire shore was destroyed), and are available to a smaller group of people but for physical and non-physical damages.
To apply for either loan, go to https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. You can also call 800-659-2955 to find a Disaster Recovery Center or Business Recovery Center, or to ask questions about the application process.
Jen A. Miller writes the Down the Shore with Jen blog for NewsWorks.org. Jen is author of The Jersey Shore: Atlantic City to Cape May, which is now in its second edition.