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12/9/2015 - Small Business Administration Reopens SuperStorm Sandy Disaster Loan Filing Period: Disaster Loan Outreach Center Opens at Bigelow Center

First Selectman Mike Tetreau announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has reopened the filing period for anyone impacted by Superstorm Sandy to apply for low-interest disaster loans. The new filing deadline for physical damage and economic injury losses is December 1, 2016.

Applicant can apply online by using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) through SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Should anyone have questions or need assistance with this process, the SBA recently opened a Disaster Loan Outreach Center at the Bigelow Center for Senior Activities (formerly the Fairfield Senior Center) at 100 Mona Terrace. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 9-5 pm, except on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and possibly some days right before and after Christmas. Signs will be posted when the Disaster Loan Outreach Center is closed during the holiday season. The Disaster Loan Outreach Center will remain open with no end date until the SBA makes a formal announcement on the closing of this Center.

In addition, applicants can call the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 to receive a paper loan application in the mail.

Additional details on the locations of recovery centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is December 1, 2016. The deadline to return economic injury applications is December 1, 2016.

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet stated, “The additional time for businesses, homeowners and renters to request federal disaster loans will go a long way in continuing to support the rebuilding efforts of the communities affected by Superstorm Sandy.”

According to the SBA, “The recently approved Recovery Improvements for Small Entities (RISE) After Disaster Act of 2015 gives the SBA Administrator the authority to make disaster loans for Superstorm Sandy for a period of one year. The bill authorizes SBA to revise the disaster deadline for major Presidential declarations for Superstorm Sandy in states like Connecticut.

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

Interest rates are as low as 1.688 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Businesses and private non-profit 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.

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

First Selectman Tetreau said, “Given the trying and long ordeal many of our beach residents have endured over the past few years, I am very pleased that the SBA has reopened the low-interest disaster loans filing period for those in our community who were impacted by Superstorm Sandy. I highly encourage residents, renters, business owners and private non-profits to seek assistance at the Bigelow Center or to apply online.”

For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program, the public can visit www.sba.gov/disaster.