Small Business Administration still reaching out to help South Floridians get affordable disaster loans


For most homeowners in South Florida, Hurricane Irma didn’t completely blow the house down. Instead, she tackled fences to the ground, lifted tiles, and ripped out thousands of trees. The Florida Keys fared much worse, where Irma did bring down homes — and just about everything else for that matter.

But around here, the impact of Irma has mostly been a big nuisance – until you start adding up the cost. Needless to say, these problems would be significantly less serious if repairs were a lot less expensive or even free.

According Chakevia Jones, a Public Affairs Specialist assigned to do outreach in the South Florida region, “We are here to help Floridians alleviate the cost and hasten their recovery.”

Through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Disaster Assistance, Jones says the SBA is offering “affordable disaster loans to homeowners and renters for their uninsured or underinsured disaster losses.”

Among the many obstacles that Floridians overcame within the last month, home damage is still not fully remedied. Through SBA, homeowners can borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their damaged primary residence. For damaged personal property, which includes vehicles, homeowners and renters can borrow up to $40,000.

“The interest rates on the loans are minimal, and less financially demanding than any bank loan. It is not necessary to accept the loan if it the application is completed – and it is not an obligation to accept the entire sum that is offered,” Jones added.

The application can be found online, but before applying the following documents are necessary:

  • Updated contact information,
  • Social Security number,
  • FEMA registration number,
  • Insurance information, and
  • Financial information.
Public Affairs Specialist Chakevia Jones is assigned to do disaster assistance outreach in the South Florida region.

Public Affairs Specialist Chakevia Jones is assigned to do disaster assistance outreach in the South Florida region.

Applying online isn’t the only way to apply. FEMA rents locations near disaster areas to help people apply. The nearest location is in Miami Dade College’s Kendall Campus.

If the application is accepted, an inspector will assess the damage of the property. When the inspector finishes his assessment, it will take about a week to receive an estimate of the loan. For people who experienced damage to their businesses, it is possible to receive a loan that equals the cost of the damages done to the business, whether it is physical or financial.

The SBA is ready to help any homeowner, business owner, or renter that is in need of financial support after Hurricane Irma. There is no need to pull money from retirement funds or loans with high interest rates from banks.

For more information on contact Chakevia Jones directly at 404-331-0333 or 202-945-7515. You may also send an e-mail to chakevia.jones@sba.gov or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.


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About the Author

Bill Kress
Bill Kress, President of Kress Communications, is an editorial consultant with the Community Newspapers, covering business news, non-profits, and municipal government. He is an award-winning public relations practitioner, news reporter, photographer, and a prolific social mediologist. Reach Bill at info@kresscom.com or call 305-763-2429.

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