Flood regions get SBA disaster help with low-interest loans

A Small Business Administration Disaster Declaration, coming today from Washington, means people and businesses in 16 southern Minnesota counties affected by the September floods will get help with low-interest loans.

An earlier FEMA disaster declaration for 21 flooded counties provides funding for debris removal and damaged public facilities, but the agency denied a request for individual assistance.

Today’s SBA declaration, though, means low-interest disaster loans will be available to “homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, non-profit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster,” Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s office said.

Under the SBA declaration, loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Interest rates are as low as 2.5 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for nonprofit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years.

Three disaster Recovery Centers are now open, offering information about state and federal assistance:

  •  Steele County, Community Center-Fairgrounds, 1380 S. Elm Ave., Owatonna
  •  Martin County, Truman Public Schools Gym, 401 E. First St. S., Truman
  •  Wabasha County, Mazeppa Community Center, 121 Maple St. NE., Mazeppa

Hours of Operation for all three:

  • Today: 1 to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sunday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Monday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Legislature will meet in special session Monday to consider state funding of disaster relief.

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