Federal loans available for Harford homes, businesses damaged

The Aegis

Harford County businesses and residents affected by flooding from Aug. 31 to Sept. 1 can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Administrator Linda McMahon announced Tuesday.

According to a news release, McMahon made the loans available in response to a letter from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Oct. 16, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA.

The declaration covers Lancaster and York counties, and the contiguous counties of Adams, Berks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin and Lebanon in Pennsylvania and Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil and Harford in Maryland.

SBA’s customer service representatives will be available at Disaster Loan Outreach Centers set up to answer questions and to help individuals complete their applications.

The Harford County center will be in the Harford County Government building at 2220 Ady Road in Forest Hill and will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, and Friday, Oct. 26; from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27; and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29.

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

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets,” SBA’s Pennsylvania District Director Antonio Leta said.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster, regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Interest rates are as low as 3.675 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations and 2 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amount and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 17. The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 18, 2019.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.

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