U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION APPROVES


August 4th, 2009

TALLAHASSEE - Governor Charlie Crist and Florida emergency management officials todayannounced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved disaster loan funds for Volusia County residents and businesses in response to a tornado and severe storms that occurred on July 24, 2009.  The SBA approval on Friday, July 31, came just three days after the initial request by the state of Florida on July 28.

"Once again the Small Business Administration has quickly approved our disaster request, so we can provide needed assistance to the residents of Volusia County," said Governor Crist.  "The Small Business Association loan program can provide needed assistance to homeowners, renters, and businesses as they work to recover."

Under the declaration, residents and business in Volusia and the contiguous counties of Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Orange, Putnam and Seminole are eligible to apply for loans if they suffered physical property damage or economic injury.

"The tornado that impacted the residents of Volusia County caused a significant amount of damage to homeowners," said Ruben D. Almaguer, interim director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. "The Small Business Administration's rapid response will give survivors in Volusia County and adjacent counties access to low-interest loan programs to begin the rebuilding process."

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 on the loans vary from 2.750 percent for homeowners and renters, to 4 percent for businesses for terms up to 30 years.

Loan applications for physical damages can be filed until the close of business on September 29, 2009.  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:

Volusia County

Lighthouse Pointe Community Center

155 Spring Drive

Port Orange, FL  32129

Opens:   Monday, August 3 at 9 a.m.

Hours:    Monday - Friday; 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

               Saturday, August 8; 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. (one Saturday only)

               Sunday, August 9; 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. (one Sunday only)

Closes:  Friday, August 14 at the close of business

Individuals and businesses unable to come to the loan center in person should call (800) 659-2955 to obtain information and applications.  Individuals who are hearing impaired can get an application and information by calling (800) 877-8339 Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm EDT.

Affected business owners and residents can visit the SBA Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance or send an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov  for more information.

For more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to GET A PLAN!, please visit: www.FloridaDisaster.org.  All students, teachers and parents can find educational information and free downloadable materials at: www.KidsGetAPlan.com.   And for the latest flash reports go to: www.YouTube.com/FloridaSERT.