UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:53am
BELTON -- Central Texas counties flooded by Tropical Storm Hermine are now getting some assistance. The U.S. Small Business Association has stepped in after requests came from Gov. Perry. They're now giving low-interest loans to home owners and businesses.
Central Texans have been putting the pieces back together since Hermine claimed eight lives and left the state with $15 million worth of damage. With no help from FEMA, the SBA is stepping up to give some extra help. Spokesperson for SBA, Ben Raju, says, "If you were impacted by the disaster, there is help available. In working close with the city, county and state officials, SBA has this assistance available to residents that were impacted, and we want to make sure that everybody take full use of what is available to them."
Dozens of homes were destroyed, and the storm left individuals with thousands of dollars in damage with little to no insurance coverage. These loans could help businesses in the areas damaged get back on their feet by paying for repairs and damage. SBA loans are different than others because the terms are more flexible and interest rates range from 2.5 to four percent.
One local restaurant owner, Ronnie Schoepf, says he was surprised it came so soon. "Yeah, they're exciting to us, but it's also good to hear that all those people that are also struggling, besides just the businesses, they're going to be able to receive some assistance based on their financial ability to pay," says Schoepf, "I think it's great."
Home owners are eligible for up to $40 thousand for damaged personal property and $200 thousand for real estate damage. Businesses and non profit- organizations can get up to $2 million in damages.
Counties eligible for SBA assistance are: Bastrop, Bell, Burnet, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Falls, Johnson, Lampasas, Lee, McLennan, Milam, Parker, Tarrant, Travis, Williamson and Wise. Click here to apply online for a loan or call 800-659-2955 to find out where representatives are stationed in your area.