Monday, November 9, 2009

Low Interest Loans Available For July's Storms

home owners insurance

White Plains, NY - Relief is in sight but home and small business owners – even renters and non-profit organizations – may not know about it.

Westchester County residents and small business owners who suffered damage as a result of last July’s storms can still apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The first deadline for applications is December 1.

The SBA last month declared New York State – including Yonkers, Mt. Vernon and certain areas in the southern Westchester – a disaster area as a result of the severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding that occurred on July 6 and 7. This disaster declaration by the SBA makes Westchester County residents and businesses in those areas hit by the storm eligible for assistance with low-interest loans. The SBA has reached out to Westchester County’s Department of Emergency Services department for help in getting the word out.

County Executive Andy Spano said, “There are still many business and home owners who don’t know about this assistance from the SBA. I would urge anyone who thinks that they might qualify to apply before December 1.”

For business owners, the SBA has two types of loans. The first – an economic injury loan – provides working capital to assist eligible businesses to recover from losses caused by the July 6-7 storms. The second – a physical disaster loan – covers the cost of repairing or replacing damaged real estate, equipment, inventory and fixtures. The amount of these loans may be increased by as much as 20 percent of the cost of recovery in order to better protect the property against future disasters of this type. Homeowners and renters in Westchester County affected by the storms may also apply for the second type of loan – the physical disaster loan – to pay recovery costs not covered by insurance.

The application deadline for the physical damage disaster loans is December 1 and the application deadline for filing the economic injury loans is July 2.

For those who either don’t have the money or are unable to be approved for loans from non-government lenders, the interest rate for home-owners is 2.437 percent and for business-owners and non-profit organizations 4 percent. The rates are slightly higher – from 4.875 to 6 percent – for those who do have available credit elsewhere.