WASHINGTON, D.C. – New federal assistance is available to homeowners, renters, and small business owners that experienced financial loss due to severe storms and high winds that occurred between June 29, 2012 and July 3, 2012. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) will make available federal, low-interest disaster loans to residents and businesses affected by the storm.

“Residents and small business owners in Defiance, Paulding, and Van West counties can now access resources needed to recover from severe storms that swept through the area earlier this summer—which may have impacted their home or business through no fault of their own,” Brown said. “These loans will help Ohio homeowners, renters, and small businesses rebuild and get back on their feet.”

According to SBA, 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. SBA’s customer service representatives are on hand at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program, explain the process, issue and help individuals complete their applications. The Center is located in Fort Wayne, IN at the Public Safety Academy of N.E. Indiana, 7602 Patriot Crossing.

Businesses and non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. The SBA may increase a loan up to 20 percent of the total amount of disaster damage to real estate and/or leasehold improvements, as verified by SBA, to make improvements that lessen the risk of property damage by future disasters of the same kind.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.  EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage. Interest rates are as low as 1.938 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. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Individuals and businesses unable to visit the Center in person may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan applications can also be downloaded from www.sba.gov. 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 October 5, 2012.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is May 6, 2013.