Governor Wolf Requests Disaster Declaration for Philadelphia Arson Fires

August 07, 2020

Governor Tom Wolf yesterday requested that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) grant a disaster declaration in Philadelphia to provide assistance in the form of low-interest loans for homeowners, businesses and eligible non-profits after numerous arson fires due to civil unrest caused millions of dollars in damages from May 30 through June 8.

“The pandemic already created significant financial hardship for businesses across the commonwealth,” said Gov. Wolf. “The additional financial damage from these incidents in Philadelphia only added to the problem, which is why these low-interest loans are so desperately needed.”

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 in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

The application process will be facilitated online. Details on how to apply, as well as application deadlines, will be established once the governor’s request is granted.

Read Governor Wolf’s Letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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