Nov. 14—The U.S. Small Business Administration has opened a mobile center to help those in Berks County impacted by flooding after a severe storm in July apply for disaster loans.
The Disaster Loan Outreach Center opened Tuesday morning at Antietam Pool in Exeter Township and will remain there for a week.
The center will remain open Tuesday until 6 p.m., and then be open daily through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It will be open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The center will be closed on Sunday, then reopen Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. It will then permanently close.
Small Business Administration customer service representatives will be on hand to answer questions about the disaster loan program. They will also be able to check an applicant's status, upload documents and help with reconsideration requests.
The Small Business Administration announced in September that it had declared the flooding in Berks a disaster due to the July 9 storm.
That declaration has allowed the administration to provide relief in the form of three types of low-interest disaster loans to those in Berks impacted by the flooding:
—Business physical disaster loans — Loans to businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property. Private nonprofit organizations are also eligible for the loans.
—Economic injury disaster loans — Working capital loans to help qualifying businesses and nonprofits meet ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster.
—Home disaster loans — Loans to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and personal property, including vehicles.
Eligible businesses can receive loans with interest rates as low as 4%. Nonprofit organizations can receive interest loans as low as 2.375%.
Homeowners and renters can receive loans with interest rates as low as 2.5%.
Loan terms can be up to 30 years. Interest does not accrue and payments are not due until 12 months from the date of the first loan disbursement.
The loans can be used to rebuild and repair damage caused by the flooding, as well as to upgrade facilities to be more resistant to future disasters. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, elevation, retaining walls and landscaping.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Nov. 27. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 28.