December 13 is the deadline to apply for Hurricane Michael recovery aid

Register in person at Seminole County’s DIsaster Recovery Center located at First Baptist Church in Donalsonville. The Center is open Monday through Saturday from

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. You may also

register by phone or online using

the information pictured at right.

Only two weeks remain for Seminole County citizens and Southwest Georgians affected by Hurricane Michael to register for assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Even people who think they don’t qualify because they have insurance or too little damage may still be eligible for assistance. Registering is the only way to find out. FEMA officials note that the Dec. 13 deadline is approaching, so anyone who hasn’t registered should do so as soon as possible.

FEMA Housing Assistance grants may cover rental assistance, home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance. Other Needs Assistance grants may be available to replace personal property and help meet disaster-related medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable-aid programs.

Register with FEMA before Dec. 13 – don’t miss the deadline. Register by going to the Disaster Recovery Center located at First Baptist Church in Donalsonville or by going online to www.disasterassistance.gov/ or by calling 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY). Multilingual operators are available; press 2 for a Spanish language operator. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

The U.S. Small Business Administration offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, homeowners, renters and certain private nonprofit organizations for losses not covered by insurance.

The SBA may lend up to $200,000 to repair or replace a primary residence and up to $40,000 to renters and homeowners to repair or replace personal property damaged or destroyed in the disaster. Up to $2 million may be available for businesses for uncompensated disaster losses.

The SBA

Disaster Loan Program

· The SBA offers low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, businesses, and private non-profit organizations to cover uninsured losses.

·  The deadline to apply for physical damage loans is December 13. There is no cost to apply.

·  Loans for homeowners and renters are as low as 2% with a term up to 30 years.

·  Loans for businesses are as low as 3.675% with a term up to 30 years.

·  Loans for churches and other private, non-profits are 2.5%, with a term up to 30 years.

·  Loans are directly from the federal government —the rate and term will not change.

· If a homeowner or renter is referred to the SBA by FEMA, and the SBA loan application is declined, they will be referred to FEMA for grant consideration, so it is important for anyone who is referred to the SBA for a loan to follow through and apply, to keep their options open.

· If offered a loan, you have 60 days to decide, and can decline it or accept a partial amount. If you decline, you have six months to change your mind and reapply.

· Individuals and businesses can borrow up to $25,000 without a lien on their property.

·  SBA is deferring the first payment due on Hurricane Michael disaster loans for 11 months, so that businesses and residents can make repairs and replacements before payments begin.

· Farm-related business owners and non-farm related businesses should apply for SBA disaster loans for their physical damages and working capital losses. The deadline for working capital loan applications is July 15, 2019.

· Owners of rental properties may apply for a business loan to cover uninsured losses.

· Disaster Recovery Centers, with staff from SBA and FEMA, are available at the First Baptist Church on Woolfork Ave in Donalsonville and the Decatur County Coliseum on Wheat Ave. in Bainbridge; Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

·  Online applications: Disasterloan.sba.gov  or call: 800-659-2955

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