October 21, 2019


The federal Small Business Administration is now set up at the Orange County Expo Center to help people affected by Imelda get low-interest disaster loans for recovery projects. Representatives will be at the center from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

Elizabeth Vargas, SBA public information officer, said the loans are available to renters, homeowners, business owners, and non-profit groups. A renter could qualify for up to $40,000 to help cover expenses of personal property.

Before applying for a loan, a person or business must first register with FEMA. Vargas said people can go ahead and apply through FEMA online, though FEMA is also set up at the Expo Center.

Then, people can come to the Expo Center to get assistance apply for an SBA loan. “It’s a good advantage to have someone help you,” she said.

The SBA has bilingual services for applicants and FEMA has multiple languages offered on the phone.

The low-interest loans, which could be as low as 1.75 percent to 3.5 percent, can have a maximum term of 30 years.

People applying will need to have their Social Security number, address of the damaged primary residence, description of the damage, information about insurance coverage, and a current telephone number to contact. In addition, they need an address where the receive mail along with a bank account with routing number for direct deposit of the loan.

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