SBA Offering Loans To Sand Springs, Tulsa Tornado Victims
SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma - After the March 25th storms hit Sand Springs and west Tulsa, some survivors asked for federal assistance; now low-interest loans are available, and representatives are in Sand Springs to help.
The Small Business Administration is set up at the Sand Springs Emergency Management Office so renters and homeowners can apply for loans and business owners with damage can ask for help.
Valerie Thomas with Sand Springs Community Services has filled a room with donations.
3/31/2015 Related Story: Communities Continue Cleanup Post Sand Springs Tornado
"A lot of these families that we're working with are under that poverty level, and of course they didn't have insurance. It was either buy food for the family, or have insurance," Thomas said.
As soon as donations come in, they go out to help a person in need. Thomas knows it'll take more than hope to overcome the destruction.
Kevin Wynne with the Small Business Administration knows survivors need money, too. That's why Governor Mary Fallin summoned him to Sand Springs after FEMA denied assistance.
"It's a great program. These are some of the best folks around that come out here and help these people," Wynne said.
The SBA is stepping in and offering low-interest loans.
4/7/2015 Related Story: SBA Disaster Assistance Available To Tulsa County Tornado Victims
Renters can get up to $40,000 with interest as low as 1.8 percent. Home owners can get up to $200,000 at that same rate and business owners can get $2 million with interest as low as four percent.
Loan terms go up to 30 years and there are credit, repayment and collateral requirements.
"Now we're going to start looking towards long-term: towards replacing automobiles, towards replacing furniture, towards rebuilding that house," said Wynne.
Thomas hopes survivors can get loans. The concern is that some don't meet the loan requirements.
"The shock has worn off of what has happened and now they're waking up and now they're realizing that, ‘Wow, I don't have anywhere to go. The little bit of funds that I have, they're gone,'" she said.
The SBA will be in Sand Springs until everyone who's interested applies.
They'll be at the emergency management office bright and early, 8:00 a.m., then they'll close up at 5:00 Thursday evening.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website.
Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA's Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. For more information about SBA's disaster assistance programs, you can visit its disaster website.
The filing deadline to return applications for property damage is June 8, 2015. The deadline to return economic injury applications is January 7, 2016.
SBA assistance is available for business owners and residents in Canadian, Cleveland, Creek, Grady, McClain, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Pawnee, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington counties.