SBA Offers Assistance for Terrorism Victims

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Businesses of all sizes, homeowners, renters (including apartments, condominiums and cooperatives) and nonprofit organizations in the areas devastated by the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon may be eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

New York area residents have already begun the challenging task of rebuilding their homes and businesses, said SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto. As of September 25, 48 SBA disaster loans have already been approved for $4.6 million. "The people who live in these communities and the businesses that contributed the energy that made these areas thrive, will rebound and come back stronger", Barreto said.

Residents and business owners in the disaster areas are encouraged to start the recovery process by calling and registering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency at 1-800-462-9029.

SBA disaster loans cover uninsured and underinsured losses. Businesses of all sizes and nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $1.5 million to repair or replace damaged real estate, machinery and inventory. Economic injury disaster loans of up to $1.5 million are available to eligible small businesses unable to pay bills or meet operating expenses. The interest rate for these loans is 4 percent, significantly below market rates.

Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair disaster-damaged primary residences. The SBA also offers loans of up to $40,000 to homeowners and renters to replace damaged personal property like furniture and clothing. The interest rate on these loans is 3.375 percent. Extended payment terms are available for all SBA disaster loans.

To find out more about the SBA's disaster assistance program, which includes a link to FEMA, the American Red Cross, and the New York City Office of Emergency Management, visit the SBA Web site.

For more information about all of the SBA's programs for small businesses, call the SBA Answer Desk at 1-800 U ASK SBA, or visit the SBA's extensive Web site.

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