Rebuilding thousands of Iowa’s homes and businesses after this year’s weather disasters is a very expensive venture. Joe Folsom, district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Iowa office, says the S.B.A. has loaned out a record amount of more than 236-million dollars in disaster loans to help Iowans recover from the widespread flooding and tornadoes.
Folsom says: "It is a record in dollar volume. I believe in total (loan) numbers, it’s still slightly below the 1993 flood but the dollar amount is more than double. We were at 112-million in 1993." The S.B.A. offered two types of loans to help in the recovery process — economic injury disaster loans for small businesses and small agricultural operations, and physical disaster loans for homeowners and renters.
Folsom says the final numbers on the loans from this year’s rebuilding efforts are staggering. "We ended the fiscal year with 35-hundred total loans approved for 236-million," Folsom says. "About 580 of those were to businesses and 2,922 of those loans were for homeowners and renters." The 236-million dollars is being split between 85-million for Iowa businesses and 151-million for home loans.
Folsom says the S.B.A. offered loans of up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged homes and up to two-million to rebuild or replace businesses, machinery and inventory. "Those loans provided a very valued service for those who had been impacted by this past summer’s disasters," Folsom says. The deadline has passed for homeowners and renters, but Iowa businesses can still apply for economic injury disaster loans through February. For more information, visit the S.B.A. website or call 800-659-2955.