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Cherokee DRC transitions to SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The federal/state Disaster Recovery Center in Cherokee transferred to a Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) this week, announced Joseph Folsom, district director of the SBA's Iowa district office.

The center in Cherokee County transitioned to a DLOC at 9 a.m. today. Located at the Cherokee Community Center, 530 W. Bluff St., Cherokee, IA, the Center's business hours will be Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the SBA opened the disaster recovery centers to provide personal assistance and disaster information to individuals and businesses who suffered damage as a result of severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes that occurred June 1 through Aug. 31, 2010.

"At this stage of the recovery process, the emphasis for assistance is to meet the long-term needs of disaster survivors," said Folsom. "We believe the transition of the DRC to an SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center will be an important step in the coordinated efforts of the State of Iowa, SBA and FEMA to meet the needs of Cherokee county residents and businesses."

SBA customer service representatives will continue to be available at the Disaster Recovery Center until it closes, and at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to issue loan applications, answer questions about SBA's disaster loan programs, explain the application process, help each individual complete the application, and close approved disaster loans.

SBA offers low-interest federal disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, non profit organizations to repair or replace property damaged or destroyed by the disaster. So far, SBA has approved more than $6.7 million in low-interest disaster loans to Iowa residents and businesses who suffered damage from the severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes.

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

Businesses of any size and private non-profit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to help with the cost of making improvements that protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs that cannot be met as a result of the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, disaster survivors should first register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-3362.

For additional information about SBA disaster assistance, call the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center at (800) 659 2955, or contact SBA by email at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visit SBA's website at www.sba.gov.

Individuals may also access SBA's online Electronic Loan Application (ELA) through its secure website at: disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

The filing deadline for individuals and business owners to return their SBA applications for property damage is Oct. 13, 2010. The EIDL deadline is May 16, 2011.

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