Federal disaster assistance available after April tornadoes
Following the tornadoes that swept through the area last month, the Small Business Administration is offering disaster loans to residents of Allen and area surrounding counties.
Despite the name, these loans aren’t only available to small businesses, but also for homeowners, renters and non-profit organizations, with interest rates as low as 2.4 percent in some cases.
The loans are a joint effort between the Small Business Administration and FEMA, offering loans to affected areas in Allen County and the surrounding counties.
Anite Steenson, the public affairs specialist for the SBA, says the partnership between the two organizations is important for getting victims the help they need.
“Wherever FEMA is during the disaster, the Small Business Administration is right there with them in all of the disaster recovery centers.”
The disaster loans differ for small business and for homes, but the home disaster loans offer funds to help repair or replace damaged real-estate and personal property, including automobiles.
Craig Browning is the external affairs officer for FEMA. He says it’s important for them to speak with applicants to get an idea of what damage they may have and how much assistance they will need.
“We need to hear your story, we want to hear your story to be able to meet you where you are in this recovery and get the best possible aid to jumpstart your recovery.”
FEMA opened a Disaster Recovery Center in Allen County to help victims of the storms and tornadoes. The center opened Monday and will remain open until Wednesday, May 10.
The center is located at the Saint Joseph Township Community Center in Fort Wayne. Hours for Monday and Tuesday are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
Representatives from FEMA, the Small Business Administration and the state will be at the center during those hours to help with applications, answer questions and provide resource referrals.
The deadline to apply for the disaster loans is June 14.