Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the U.S. Small Business Administration has granted his request for a Physical Disaster Declaration for Washington County following severe weather and flooding in Whitehall. The storm caused damage to 40 homes and 13 businesses or non-profit organizations, for a total of more than $1.5 million in damages. The declaration also allows SBA to make low-interest loans available to homeowners and businesses effected by storm damage in the contiguous counties of Essex, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Warren. With the declaration granted, the individuals, families, businesses and non-profits affected are now eligible to apply for low interest loans from the Small Business Administration to aid in their recovery.
"When severe storms damaged dozens of homes and businesses in Washington County, New York was there to help not only with recovery operations, but also to fight for federal funding to help get those affected back on their feet," Governor Cuomo said. "This declaration will allow residents, businesses and non-profits to quickly and efficiently access capital from the federal government at low interest rates as they rebuild and recover."
SBA loans are often helpful when eligible homeowners, renters, businesses, and others need financial support following emergencies or weather-related disasters. Following the event, staff from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and Washington County conducted a thorough assessment of the damages related to this incident. This assessment confirmed major damage occurred to 21 homes and 5 businesses totaling $384,200 and $193,000, respectively, and minor damage to 19 homes and 8 businesses/non-profits totaling $570,000 and $360,000, respectively.
The following groups may be eligible for help from SBA loans for the following:
- Homeowners: up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate
- Homeowners and renters: up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property
- Business owners: up to $2 million for the replacement of real estate, inventories, machinery, equipment, and other physical losses
- Businesses and non-profits: Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to provide necessary working capital until normal operations resume after a disaster
New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Patrick A. Murphy said, "When disaster strikes, the pain doesn't simply end when the immediate emergency is over. Many times, a disaster takes both an emotional and financial toll on individuals and businesses. Thanks to the partnership and hard work of agencies across the state, and federal and local governments, those who were impacted by this severe storm will have resources to assist in their recovery."
Interest rates can be as low as 1.19 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.75 percent for non-profit organizations and 3 percent for businesses with terms of up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition.
SBA has opened a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center (VDLOC) to help survivors apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA's secure website here. Virtual Customer Support Representatives are available to assist applicants with completing the online application as well as answer questions about the SBA program. The VDLOC information is as follows:
Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center (VDLOC)
Open: Monday-Sunday (7 days/week)
Hours: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. EDT
Email: [email protected]
Phone for Individuals & Businesses: 1-800-659-2955
Applicants may also email SBA's Customer Service Center at [email protected] for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
**RESIDENTS WITHOUT ACCESS TO A COMPUTER / INTERNET CONNECTION OR EXPERIENCING ISSUES WITH PROCESSING, PLEASE REACH OUT TO OUR WASHINGTON COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY TEAM FOR DIRECT ASSISTANCE**
PHONE: (518)747-7520 EXT. 1 OR VIA EMAIL [email protected]
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is January 5, 2021. The deadline to return economic injury applications is August 6, 2021.