TULSA - People who get the packet to apply for disaster relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will find a Small Business Administration loan application inside.
“Some people are like 'well I don't need a loan,' or 'I don't want a loan,' and they fail to fill it out,” FEMA spokesman Scott Sanders tells KRMG, “and then we have to kick the application back to them and say 'you still got to fill out the application.' So it holds up the process. So I tell people 'fill out the entire application, the FEMA part and the SBA part.'”
Many of those people think it won't apply to them, because they're not business owners.
But it's the SBA that handles long-term, low-interest loans for disaster victims - not FEMA.
And that includes loans for homeowners, non-profits, even renters.
SBA spokesman David Reetz tells KRMG there's a lot of assistance available.
“Up to $200,000 for a homeowner, a renter. Up to $40,000 for personal property, cars, furniture, clothing you name it,” Reetz said Wednesday. “Businesses, of course we do that too, up to $2 million.”
And importantly, a business doesn't even have to suffer actual physical damage to qualify for a loan.
For example, if a restaurant had to close for several days because all the roads leading to it were flooded.
“They have a cash flow problem, and the SBA has economic injury disaster loans available that are geared strictly to cash flow, if they've experienced no physical damage whatsoever,” Reetz said.
To get started, storm or flood victims can contact the agencies online, by phone, or even by using an app on a smartphone.