Governor Wolf Announces Low-Interest Loans for Survivors of Chester County Apartment Fire
August 18, 2020
Governor Tom Wolf announced today that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved his request to declare a disaster in Chester County after a devastating fire on July 31 destroyed dozens of homes in North Coventry Township.
“Many people living in the Ashwood Apartment building lost everything they own,” said Governor Wolf. “The availability of low-interest loans provides a glimmer of hope for people who right now might desperately need it.”
Homeowners, renters and businesses impacted by the Chester County fire, as well as neighboring counties of Berks, Delaware, Lancaster and Montgomery, may be eligible for low-interest disaster loans through the SBA Disaster Loan Programs.
Low-interest loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. SBA regulations permit loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged personal property, including vehicles. Businesses and nonprofits can borrow up to $2 million as a Physical Disaster Loan to restore damaged or destroyed buildings, inventory, equipment and assets. Economic Injury Disaster Loans may also be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
SBA offers long-term repayment options to keep payments affordable, with terms up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
In accordance with health precautions for the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the SBA will not establish a physical Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) in the community to assist applicants. However, SBA will continue to provide first class customer service and conduct outreach virtually with webinars, skype calls, phone assistance and step-by-step application assistance.
To this end, SBA has opened a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center (VDLOC) to help survivors apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ and there are virtual customer support representatives available to assist applicants with completing the online application.
Those who want to apply for an SBA loan should contact the Customer Service Representatives at (571) 422-6871 or (571) 422-6078 to schedule an appointment for immediate one-on-one assistance in completing their applications. Requests for SBA disaster loan program information may be obtained by emailing FOCE-Help@sba.gov. The SBA will conduct extensive outreach to ensure that all impacted by the disaster are afforded the opportunity to seek assistance.
Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center (VDLOC)
Open: Monday – Friday
Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Closed: Saturdays and Sundays
Phone for Individuals & Businesses: (571) 422-6871 or (571) 422-6078
It is important to note that this VDLOC information applies only to applicants affected by the fire in Chester County. It is not applicable for any other SBA declaration or COVID-19-related SBA assistance.
Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email email@example.com for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed paper applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is October 16, 2020. The deadline to return economic injury disaster loan applications is May 17, 2021.