The federal government is opening two disaster loan outreach centers today in northwest Iowa. The U.S. Small Business Administration will operate the centers in Rock Rapids in Lyon County and in Rock Valley in Sioux County. Both counties were declared federal disaster areas after last month’s severe weather and flooding.
The SBA’s Garth MacDonald says the centers will be open to serve homeowners, renters and business owners face-to-face. “They’ll be open Mondays through Fridays, 8:30 to 5,” MacDonald says. “There’s no appointment necessary, you can just walk in. Anybody from any of the counties that are included in the declaration can go to either center.” In addition to Lyon and Sioux counties, the surrounding counties are also under the declaration. Those are: Cherokee, O’Brien, Osceola and Plymouth counties in Iowa, as well as two counties in Minnesota and three in South Dakota.
While the agency’s name refers specifically to small businesses, MacDonald says the aid is being extended well beyond just businesses. “Homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, non-profit organizations can use these low-interest loans to get fully recovered from the severe storms, the flooding, straight-line winds and tornadoes that took place from June 14th through the 23rd.”
While you can apply for the loans over the phone, MacDonald says it’s easier for some people to meet in person, so these offices are being opened in Rock Rapids and Rock Valley to offer that convenience. “Folks can borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace a primary residence, up to $40,000 for homeowners or renters to replace personal property and businesses can borrow up to $2,000,000 as well as private non-profits for either physical losses or economic injury impact.” To learn more about the loans, you can call 800-659-2955 or visit: www.sba.gov