Bay Area flooding victims can access SBA low-interest loans

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SAN JOSE (KTVU) --  Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to some Bay Area residents and businesses that suffered devastating losses during last month's heavy rains, officials said Tuesday.

The disaster declaration by the U.S. Small Business Administration means the agency's low-cost loans can be used by residents and firms trying to recover after several parts of the region were left underwater during February's soaking rains.

SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said the declaration makes the loan funding available to residents and businesses in several California counties, including: Alameda, Merced, Monterey, Napa, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma.

"SBA is strongly committed to providing California with the most effective and customer-focused response possible, and we will be there to provide access to federal disaster loans to help finance recovery for businesses and residents affected by the disaster," McMahon said in a written statement. "Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA."

Said SBA official Robert Blaney: "“Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters whose property was damaged or destroyed by this disaster.” 

Homeowners can apply for disaster loans of up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters can apply for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged and destroyed personal property. 

Businesses and private nonprofit groups can borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace land, equipment and inventory

Federal officials said interest rates vary from 1.875-3.15 percent.

SBA representatives are available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Santa Clara at City Hall in Room No. 1231 at 200 E. Santa Clara Street in San Jose. The center opens at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 22 and will be open from Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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