San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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2:48 p.m. SUNDAY, MAY 31: Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to Texas businesses and residents as a result of President Obama’s major disaster declaration, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced.

The declaration covers Harris, Hays and Van Zandt counties as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that began on May 4.

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing Texas with the most effective and customer-focused response possible and with access to federal disaster loans to help Texas businesses and residents affected by the severe storms, tornadoes, straight line winds and flooding,” said Contreras-Sweet. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available to businesses regardless of any property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates can be as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.688 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, victims must first call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at (800) 621-FEMA (3362). As soon as Federal-State Disaster Recovery Centers open throughout the affected area, SBA will provide one-on-one assistance to disaster loan applicants. Additional information and details on the location of disaster recovery centers is available by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955.


9:29 a.m. SUNDAY, MAY 31: Residents of Hays County who sustained losses from the Memorial Day Weekend floods and storms are now eligible to apply for federal disaster assistance following a presidential disaster declaration last night.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. Keep in mind that each individual’s losses and needs are different and different types of aid will apply to each person, family and business affected.

Persons in Hays County can register for assistance on the FEMA website here or through the city of San Marcos website here.

If you do not have access to the internet you may register by calling 1-800-621-FEMA or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY).  If you use 711 relay or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362 directly. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

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