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SBA approves more than $2M in Hurricane Irene-related disaster loans

Hurricane Irene dumped between 10 and 20 inches of rain when it passed over Puerto Rico in August. (Credit: Wikipedia)

With just a week to go before the Oct. 26 deadline to submit disaster loan applications, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced Wednesday that so far it has approved $2 million in assistance for damages sustained by local businesses and residents in the wake of Hurricane Irene earlier this year.

“Currently, 146 home and business disaster loans have been approved in the amount of $2,041,900 for affected survivors,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.  “We are pleased to be able to get these loans approved so residents and businesses in the disaster area can continue rebuilding and resuming their normal lives.”

The agency is “working vigorously to have all survivors take advantage of the opportunity to apply for low-interest disaster loans.”

Those affected are encouraged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency at 800-621-FEMA (3362), and return completed applications to the SBA before next week’s deadline.

Homeowners and renters unable to obtain a low-interest disaster loan may be referred to FEMA for grant consideration, said the SBA, adding that customer service representatives will be on hand at the Disaster Recovery Centers located throughout the island to provide one-on-one assistance to complete applications.

For assistance over the phone, affected parties may contact the SBA’s customer service center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or send an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Furthermore, Loan application forms can be downloaded from www.sba.gov.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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