SBA Loan Application Necessary for Assistance in Alabama

February 13, 2006

The U.S Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urges Hurricane Katrina survivors who registered for disaster assistance to complete and return the loan application they received from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

An SBA disaster loan application is not just for business owners, and is used by FEMA to determine the appropriate assistance each individual is eligible to receive. Many FEMA benefits become available only if the SBA application is submitted.

“FEMA urges anyone who sustained losses as a result of Hurricane Katrina to complete and mail in the completed SBA loan application as soon as possible,” said Michael Bolch, federal coordinating officer. “Even if the applicant feels they would not qualify for a loan, filling out the application is the first necessary step to being considered for other forms of disaster assistance or grants.”

To date in Alabama, $8.6 million in SBA loans have been approved for Hurricane Katrina survivors. SBA low-interest disaster loans are available to qualified renters, homeowners, landlords, certain non-profit organizations and businesses of any size that suffered losses due to the disaster. These low interest loans are designed for those disaster victims without insurance or those not fully covered by insurance. Interest rates are low to encourage repayment. Terms on SBA loans can be up to 30 years. Actual loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and based on each applicant’s financial condition.

If an individual does not qualify for an SBA loan, the application will help determine eligibility for FEMA Other Needs Assistance (ONA) that pays for losses such as personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

The deadline for Hurricane Katrina survivors to register for assistance is March 11, 2006. Applicants may apply for the program by calling FEMA’s toll-free number at 800-621-FEMA (3362), 800-462-7585 (TTY), for the hearing and speech impaired or online at

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