SBA Disaster Outreach Center to close Wednesday
May 12, 2012 (Menafn - The Woodward News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --WOODWARD, Okla. -- After next week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will no longer have agents available at the Woodward Public Library to provide in-person assistance to tornado victims.
The SBA's Disaster Outreach Center at the library will shut down Wednesday, May 16 but assistance will still be available over the phone until June 25, 2012.
The center opened on April 26 and has been at the library for about 3 weeks.
Rick Jenkins, public information officer for SBA disaster assistance in Sacramento, said the center is being closed because it appears "there's no longer a need" for the in-person assistance.
Over the past few days, he said, "The foot traffic we're seeing through the office has been vastly reduced."
Jenkins said they close centers based on the needs of the community and based on how many people they're seeing from day to day. Lately, there has been very minimal traffic, he said.
In Woodward, the SBA has given out about 20 applications and received 18 of those applications back. They have approved awarding about 350,000 in loans from those applications.
Jenkins said the loans help disaster victims in a couple different ways. SBA loans help cover those things insurance companies won't, help the under-insured or uninsured, and provide money to people while they're waiting for their insurance to kick in, he said.
With a lower interest rate than other funding options such as a credit card, people can get recovery work started and once their insurance settles, can pay off their SBA loan, he said.
The SBA offers disaster loans of up to 200,000 to homeowners to repair or replace real estate that was damaged or destroyed. Homeowners and renters are also eligible for up to 40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.
Disaster loans of up to 2 million are available to businesses and private, nonprofit organizations to repair or replace real estate, machinery, inventory and other business assets.
SBA staff will be available at the library to help victims start the loan application process next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day.
For SBA assistance after those days or for more information contact SBA's Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 1-800-659-2955, e-mailing email@example.com or visiting SBA's website at www.sba.gov.
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