January 8, 2018

Federal aid, SBA loans available after October storm disaster designation

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration are offering disaster relief to governments, businesses and nonprofits that sustained damage in the Oct. 29 storm, which caused widespread power outages and flooding.

The presidential disaster declaration was made Jan. 2. Maine officials on Nov. 1 said they would seek federal disaster aid in the wake of the late-October storm that left 484,000 Central Maine Power and Emera Maine customers without power. CMP estimated last week damage from the storm at $15 million.

Federal aid is available to state, tribal and eligible local governments and some private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and to repair or replace property damaged by the storm and flooding, FEMA said.

Counties included in the declaration are Cumberland, Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Sagadahoc, Somerset, Waldo and York.

James N. Russo, the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations for Maine said additional designations may be made after damage assessment results are reviewed..

SBA low-interest disaster loans are also available for Maine nonprofits that do not provide critical services of a governmental nature. Examples of eligible non-critical private nonprofits include food kitchens, homeless shelters, museums, libraries, community centers, schools and colleges, the SBA said.

SBA low-interest disaster loans

Under the SBA disaster loan program, organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. The interest rate is 2.5% percent with terms up to 30 years. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20% of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

The SBA also offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs, such as ongoing operating expenses to private nonprofit organizations. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the organization suffered any physical property damage, the SBA said.

Organizations can find out if they are eligible from their county emergency director. The information will be submitted to FEMA to determine eligibility for a public assistance grant or whether the organization should be referred to SBA for disaster loan assistance. For more information or to apply for assistance, go here.

The filing deadline to submit applications for physical property damage is March 5. The deadline to submit economic injury applications is Oct. 2.


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