Hawaii Quake Disaster Loans Run into the Millions

The U.S. Small Business Administration said Tuesday that it has approved more than $5.4 million in disaster loans in the wake of the Oct. 15 earthquake off the Big Island, Hawaii.

The loans were made to homeowners, renters and businesses whose property was damaged by the magnitude 6.7 quake and its aftershocks.

“SBA’s disaster assistance employees are committed to helping Hawaii County residents and business owners rebuild their homes, their businesses and their lives as fast as possible,” said Andrew K. Poepoe, director of the SBA’s Honolulu district office.

Those still discovering damages were encouraged by the SBA to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The SBA has set up disaster recovery centers in Kailua-Kona, Kamuela and Kapaau.

“Anyone who has questions is urged to visit one of the centers to speak with program representatives. You don’t need an appointment,” Poepoe said.

Disaster loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Business and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $1.5 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.