Less than two weeks after setting up a Business Recovery Center in Yankton, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is moving out, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Recovery Center will continue locally helping anyone with questions regarding SBA assistance.
In mid-June, soon after a number of South Dakota counties were added to the presidential disaster declaration, both FEMA and the SBA were on hand in Yankton to assist area people and businesses affected by the spring flooding that occurred from March 13-April 26 of this year.
“There weren’t that big, big numbers for activity in the Yankton area, but we set up not knowing that the same day FEMA opened a Disaster Recovery Center,” said Roger Busch, a public information officer for the SBA. “Now, the traffic at the Business Recovery Center has subsided, so we are pulling the plug.”
The Business Recovery Center, located in the RTEC building at 1200 W. 21st St. in Yankton, has been serving business owners, property owners and renters since it opened on June 14. Though SBA has announced that it will be shut down permanently at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 27, the center will still be open and serving the public until that time.
The FEMA Disaster Recovery Center at the Yankton County Emergency office at 807 Capital Street in Yankton will stay open as long as there are people coming in for assistance. Its hours of operation are from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
“It’s a numbers game; they just handle the registrations until they are done, and that’s the same with us,” Busch said. “Both FEMA and SBA representatives will be at the Disaster Recovery Center at Yankton County Emergency. We’ll just put up our big sign referring people over to disaster recovery.”
FEMA is still in town assisting those who have yet to register for disaster assistance.
Residents from the following South Dakota Counties are eligible for FEMA assistance as well as SBA loans: 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.
The deadline for FEMA registration is Aug. 6. The Disaster Recovery Center provides face-to-face assistance with registration and questions, but SBA loan packages and representatives will also be there to help.
Anyone from eligible areas can register at the FEMA center in Yankton, but FEMA registrations can also be completed by phone at 800-621-3362 and online at www.disasterassistance.gov.
For individual homeowners and renters, disaster aid may include both a grant from FEMA and a low-interest, 30-year loan from the SBA, but businesses are only eligible for SBA disaster loans.
During an emergency, the SBA Business Recovery Center gets business owners out of FEMA’s waiting room and fast tracks them to an SBA loan officer, Busch said.
“Once they come in and get our loan packages and they feel like they’ve gotten all the help they need, we’ve done what we needed to do, too,” Busch said. “But the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center will stay open as long as we’re needed and as long as people are coming in requesting our information.”
The SBA’s deadline for receiving completed loan packages is Aug. 6.
The SBA also offers economic injury loans to business owners in counties outside, but contiguous to, the disaster area. Economic injury loans are for businesses that did not sustain flood damage, but still suffered economic losses due to the flooding.
Contiguous South Dakota counties eligible for economic injury loans include: 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 eligible for economic injury loans include Pipestone and Rock counties.
Contiguous Nebraska counties —including Boyd, Cedar, Cherry, Dawes, Keya Paha, Knox and Sheridan — are also eligible for economic-injury loans.
The application deadline for SBA economic injury loans is March 9, 2020.
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. Printed 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 email@example.com
Follow @CoraVanOlson on Twitter.