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SBA offers assistance to those affected by flooding

West Virginia businesses and residents affected by the July 29 flooding  may apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman recently announced.

 Guzman made the loans available in response to a letter from West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Sept. 22, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. Businesses and residents in the declared area can now apply for low-interest disaster loans from the SBA.

The declaration includes Monongalia County and the adjacent counties of Marion, Preston, Taylor and Wetzel in West Virginia; and Fayette and Greene in Pennsylvania.

“SBA’s mission-driven team stands ready to help Monongalia County’s small businesses and residents impacted by the flooding,”  Guzman said. “We’re committed to providing federal disaster loans swiftly and efficiently, with a customer-centric approach to help businesses and communities recover and rebuild.”

To assist businesses and residents affected by the disaster, the SBA will open a Disaster Loan Outreach Center Tuesday  in Monongalia County. It will be in Suite 609 at  Morgantown Mall, 9500 Mall Road. Hours will be 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday. Then, regular hours will be  9 a.m.-6 p.m.   Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. The center will close permanently at 4 p.m. Oct. 14.

Customer Service Representatives will be available at the DLOC to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete  applications. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the SBA has established protocols to help protect the health and safety of the public. All visitors to the DLOC are encouraged to wear a face mask.

“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,” said SBA’s West Virginia District Director Karen Friel.

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. EIDL Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

“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,” said Kem Fleming, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

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, sump pump, French drain, or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

Interest rates are as low as 2.855% for businesses, 2% for nonprofit organizations, and 1.563% for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application  via SBA’s secure website at and should apply under SBA declaration No. 17198, not for the COVID-19 incident.

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hearing-impaired) or emailing Loan applications may be downloaded at

Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Nov. 29. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 29, 2022.

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