Governor Rendell's Disaster Assistance Request for Centre County Approved by SBA

Jan 08, 2010, 10:30 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

Declaration Makes Assistance Available to Victims in Surrounding Counties

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- - Governor Edward G. Rendell announced today that the U.S. Small Business Administration approved his request for disaster assistance for damages caused by a fire on Dec. 22 in Bellefonte, Centre County.

The disaster declaration makes assistance available to fire victims in Blair, Huntingdon, Mifflin, Clearfield, Union, and Clinton counties.

"The financial assistance offered by the SBA is necessary for victims of this fire to recover, and we're grateful that our request was approved," Governor Rendell said. "People who lost personal possessions as well as materials and supplies they used to make a living by working from home will be able to get their lives back to normal more quickly thanks to this aid."

Low-interest loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. SBA regulations permit loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property.

Interest rates are as low as 2.562 percent for homeowners and renters, and 4 percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial qualifications.

The SBA disaster loan outreach center will be located at the Willowbank County Office Building, 420 Holmes St., Bellefonte, PA 16823.

The outreach center will be open on Tuesday, Jan. 12, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Jan. 13, from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Thursday, Jan. 14, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

SBA customer service representatives will be on hand at the disaster loan outreach center to issue loan applications, answer questions about the disaster loan program, explain the application process and help individuals to complete their applications.

Individuals and businesses unable to visit the center in person may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., EST, or by sending an e-mail to

Business loan applications can also be downloaded from the SBA Web site at Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Victims may apply for disaster loans from SBA's secure Web site at

More information on disaster assistance in Pennsylvania is available at by clicking on "Disaster Assistance" in the left-hand column.

Media contacts:

Maria A. Finn, PEMA; 717-651-2009

Gary Tuma, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor