The damage in Marshalltown from last month’s EF-3 twister is so severe, the U.S. Small Business Administration is now staffing an office in the central Iowa city to process loans to rebuild.
SBA spokesman Burl Kelton says the low-interest loans are for business owners, in addition to homeowners and renters who saw damage in the powerful July 19th storm. Kelton says, “We have statutory interest rates, the maximum term is 30 years, and for businesses $2-million of actual damage, for homeowners $200,000 for physical damage and $40,000 for personal property, including vehicles.”
The loans are through the federal government, he adds, not a bank. The federal disaster declaration for Marshall County makes SBA assistance available to people in the surrounding counties as well: Grundy, Hardin, Jasper, Poweshiek, Story and Tama.
“We’re in Marshalltown probably for the next couple of weeks so folks can come in and talk to a customer service representative, find out whatever information they’d like to and actually make an application while they’re here to see us,” he says. The National Weather Service says 13 tornadoes hit Iowa that day, but only Marshalltown was hit with an EF-3, with winds of up to 144 miles-an-hour.
While some business owners and residents may have lost nearly everything, Kelton says if possible, they should bring in as many of the following items as possible. “Any insurance information, insurance policy numbers and amounts, a recent tax return if they have that, work stubs, pay stubs, that sort of thing,” Kelton says, “because what we do is use that information to determine the cash available for additional debt.”
Around 90 homes in Marshalltown were destroyed in the twister, more than 600 were damaged. The SBA’s Disaster Loan Outreach Center is in the Fisher Community Center at 709 South Center Street in Marshalltown. It’s open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Iowans can also apply online by downloading applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela, or call 800-659-2955.