Flood Assistance

Article from the Observer - Reporter August 25 2017

​Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to residents and businesses in Washington and Greene counties affected by flash flooding caused by heavy rains July 29.

U.S. Small Business Administration’s Administrator Linda McMahon announced Thursday the department made the loans available in response to a request SBA received from Gov. Tom Wolf Aug. 17.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Washington, Greene, Allegheny, Beaver, Fayette and Westmoreland counties in Pennsylvania, and Grooke, Hancock, Marshall and Ohio counties in West Virginia. “The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Pennsylvania with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans,” said McMahon. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.” The SBA will open a Disaster Loan Outreach Center from noon to 4 p.m. today at Salvation Army, 60 East Maiden St., Washington. Office hours will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday. The center will be closed Sunday. Customer service representatives will be available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to issue loan applications, answer questions and help individuals complete their applications. “Any support we can get, we are obviously happy to take,” said Washington Mayor Scott Putnam. “I think it’s great that they’re coming to assist.”

​SBA’s Pittsburgh District Director Kelly Hunt said businesses and private nonprofit organizations can borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets damaged or destroyed by the flooding. For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans, regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage. Loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, and homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property that was damaged or destroyed. Interest rates can be as low as 3.305 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations and 1.75 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. Applicants may apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov.ela. Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955 or emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can call 800-877-8339. For more disaster assistance information or to download applications, visit www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Rd., Fort Worth, Tx., 76155. The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Oct. 23. The deadline to return economic injury applications is May 23, 2018.