WASHINGTON, April 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Florida businesses and residents affected by the Pecan Park Flea and Farmers' Market fire on April 6, 2015, can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced today.
Administrator Contreras-Sweet made the loans available in response to a letter from Gov. Rick Scott on April 16, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Duval County and the adjacent counties of Baker, Clay, Nassau and Saint Johns in Florida.
"The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Florida with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans," said Administrator Contreras-Sweet. "Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA."
SBA's customer service representatives will be available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications. The Center is located in the following community and is open as indicated:
Duval County Highlands Branch Library 1826 Dunn Avenue Jacksonville, Florida 32218
Opens: Tuesday, April 28 at 1 p.m. Hours: Tuesdays, April 28, May 5; and Thursday, April 30 from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays, April 29 and May 6; and Friday, May 1 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, May 7 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed: Sunday, May 3; and Monday, May 4 Closing: Thursday, May 7 at 5 p.m.
"Businesses of any size and nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets," said Wilfredo Gonzalez, SBA's district director in Jacksonville, Florida.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
"Loans 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," said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA's Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.
Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, to make improvements that help prevent the risk of future property damage caused by a similar disaster.
Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.625 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.813 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amount and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition.
Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing [email protected]. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov/disaster. 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.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is June 22, 2015. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Jan. 22, 2016.
For more information about the SBA's Disaster Loan Program, visit our website atwww.sba.gov/disaster.