Oahu residents, small businesses may apply for disaster loans following last month’s severe storms

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Oahu residents and small businesses that were impacted by last month’s storms are now eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans.

Severe weather conditions prompted flooding and landslides between March 8 to 18.

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“On behalf of Governor Ige, we thank the Small Business Administration for approving the state’s request for a disaster declaration,” said HI-EMA Resilience Branch Chief Lorinda Wong-Lau. “Because they won’t be setting up a physical location, the SBA is planning to contact every applicant who reported physical or economic damage to assist them through the registration process.”

Businesses and nonprofits may apply for up to $2 million in loans to repair or replace real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other assets that were destroyed or damaged in the storm.

Homeowners are eligible to borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace destroyed or damaged real estate. Both homeowners and renters are eligible for a maximum of $40,000 personal property that was destroyed or damaged in the storm.

Homeowners and business owners are also eligible for the loans even if they have already made repairs to property damaged in the storm.

The SBA advises applicants to take photographs and keep receipts of repairs.

Interest rates can be as low as 3% for businesses, 2% for private nonprofits and 1.25% for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years.

According to an SBA summary report, 36 homes and 4 businesses suffered major damage in the storm. Another 10 homes suffered minimum damage.

The SBA’s Virtual Business Recovery Center is open to provide personalized assistance to business owners. The SBA is also opening a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center to assist homeowners and renters. Staff will be available to answer questions about the loan program and application process.

The deadline to apply for property damage is June 28, 2021. The deadline to apply for economic injury is Jan. 31, 2022.

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