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Oahu residents and businesses eligible for disaster loans from March storms

  • JAMM AQUINO / MARCH 9
                                People watch floodwater along Haleiwa Road in Haleiwa.

    JAMM AQUINO / MARCH 9

    People watch floodwater along Haleiwa Road in Haleiwa.

Oahu residents and small businesses impacted by the severe storms, flooding and landslides in March are eligible for low-interest disaster loans via the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Flash flooding and torrential rains that began March 8 and extended through March 18 impacted many families and businesses on the North Shore. Thirty-six homes and four businesses sustained extensive damage and another 10 homes sustained minimal damage in the storm.

“This is an excellent chance for residents and business owners affected by last month’s flooding and landslides, to take steps toward recovering from this disaster. We thank the SBA for supporting our affected communities and encourage residents and business owners to take advantage of this opportunity, ” said Gov. David Ige in a news release.

According to Lorinda Wong-Lau, chief of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency’s Resilience Branch, the Small Business Administration plans to contact every applicant who reported physical or economic damage to assist them through the loan registration process.

Businesses and private non-profit organizations may apply for up to $2 million in loans for repairs, replace real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other items 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 also eligible for a maximum of $40,000 to help repair or replace personal property.

Officials noted homeowners and business owners who already made repairs to property walloped by the storm are eligible for loans. Applicants are advised to take photos and keep receipts of all repairs.

Interest rates can be as low as 3% for businesses, 2% for non-profit organizations and 1.25% for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years.

A Virtual Business Recovery Center opens today to assist business owners. A Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center is also opening to help homeowners and renters. Representatives will be available to answer questions about the disaster loan program, application process and to help complete electronic loan applications.

The deadline for applications for property damage is June 28 and the deadline for applications for economic injury is Jan. 31, 2022.

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>> Customer service representatives of the Virtual Business Recovery Center and Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Eastern time) Mondays through Fridays.

>> For more information, email the Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West Office at FOCWAssistance@sba.gov or call 800-659-2955.

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