SBA

Roger Busch, a public information officer for the U.S. Small Business Administration prepares to help manage the flow of individuals seeking federal disaster relief in Yankton. During a disaster, the SBA can make low-interest, 30-year loans to businesses and individuals who register with FEMA.

Editor’s Note: This is the second of a two-part series on options for disaster aid in the area. Part 1 was in the June 15 edition of the Press & Dakotan and focused on aid from FEMA.

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Last week, FEMA set up a Disaster Recovery Center in Yankton, and with the help of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the federal agency aims to serve both business owners as well as individuals who suffered damages from the flooding this spring.

“The Disaster Recovery Center is a full service operation,” said Roger Busch, an information officer for the SBA. “We try to streamline it for businesses to come in, but our loan officers are equipped to do homeowners and renters, too, if they do some in or business owners who had both.”

The Disaster Recovery Center is located at the Yankton County emergency office at 807 Capital Street in Yankton, and is open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Though the SBA has some loan officers at the FEMA Center, they have set up another Business Recovery Center at RTEC, 1200 West 21st St., Suite 112, in Yankton. Hours are from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.

Anyone eligible for relief may go to either center and apply in person with a representative.

Due to the recent presidential disaster declaration, South Dakotans recovering from flood damages can get extra financial help through the federal government. For the most basic needs and repairs, FEMA may give individual grants, but during a disaster, the SBA has low-interest loans available to both businesses and individuals who need more aid than FEMA typically provides.

The first step to receiving any aid from the federal government is registering with FEMA. Most people are eligible for SBA loans, and FEMA gives an SBA loan packet to those it deems are eligible.

“FEMA will refer the majority of people that apply, as a homeowner, business or renter, to the SBA,” Busch said. “So what we recommend — you don’t have to take the loan — is, we want everybody to at least come in and fill out our package. If we approve the loan, it’s going to be sitting there if they need it.”

Those whose loans are declined by the SBA are referred back to FEMA for other types of assistance.

“We will make a loan to anybody that had damage to property that wasn’t covered by insurance or any other type of compensation,” Busch said. “Let’s say you had $200,000 of damage and you did have insurance of $150,000 and FEMA gave you $10,000 for some repairs. ‘Where do I get that $40,000?’ That where the SBA comes in.”

Homeowners are eligible for up to $200,000 in replacement and repairs of damage they had to their home and up to $40,000 for personal property, including automobiles and furniture.

Renters who sustained flood damage to their possessions could qualify for up to $40,000 in SBA low-interest loans, he said.

“And the person they are renting from is eligible under our business program,” Busch said. “Under the business program, they are eligible for up to $2 million, and that can be a combination of a physical loss or an economic injury loss like revenues not coming in due to the business being shut down.”

The goal is to fill that gap between what’s covered and what’s needed for individuals and businesses to get back to normal, he said.

Interest rates typically offered by the SBA include:

• 2.083 percent for homeowners and renters;

• 4.120 percent for businesses;

• and 2.750 percent for non-profit organizations.

Rates for economic-injury loans are 4 percent for businesses and small agricultural operations and 2.75 percent for non-profit organizations.

Though farmers are not eligible for business recovery loans through the SBA, they are eligible for loans to cover damage to personal property. Farmers seeking damage recovery should contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In the last two months, the SBA has approved approximately $40 million in disaster aid loans in Nebraska, he said.

Loan terms are for up to 30 years.

“It works. It’s not for everyone,” Busch said. “What we stress is, at least apply and let us approve it. That way, when you resolve everything, if your loan works out to be zero, good for you.”

The deadline for registering with FEMA and for having the completed loan application package back to the SBA is Aug. 6, 2019. The application deadline for SBA economic injury loans is March 9, 2020.

“A business on this side of the street got flooded and they’re covered up to the $2 million,” Busch said as an example. “Now, the businesses on this side of the street didn’t get flooded, but nobody is coming into the stores, the restaurants. They are eligible as well (for economic injury).”

SBA disaster and economic-injury loans are available in the following areas in South Dakota: Bon Homme, Charles Mix, Hutchinson, Minnehaha and Yankton; the Pine Ridge Reservation including the counties of Oglala Lakota, Jackson and Bennett; the Rosebud Reservation to include the counties of Mellette and Todd; and the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation including the counties of Dewey and Ziebach.

Counties contiguous to those areas are eligible for economic injury loans, including: Aurora, Brule, Clay, Corson, Custer, Davison, Douglas, Fall River, Gregory, Haakon, Hanson, Jones, Lake, Lincoln, Lyman, McCook, Meade, Moody, Pennington, Perkins, Potter, Stanley, Sully, Tripp Turner and Walworth.

Contiguous Minnesota counties of Pipestone and Rock are eligible for economic injury only.

Contiguous Nebraska counties of Boyd, Cedar, Cherry, Dawes, Keya Paha, Knox and Sheridan are eligible for economic-injury loans only.

To apply for SBA disaster relief, call the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing call 800-877-8339.

Applications may be completed online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Printer applications can be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

For more information, email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

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