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SBA declares Grant County disaster area
Declaration includes Iowa, Lafayette, Crawford, Richland counties
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The U.S. Small Business Administration declared Grant County a federal disaster area on Monday.

The declaration covers Grant, Crawford, Richland, Iowa and Lafayette counties for tornado, flash flood and other storm damage June 16–18.

An SBA disaster declaration makes homeowners and businesses affected by the disaster eligible for low-interest loans.

“It’s important for people to understand that even though the agency is called the Small Business Administration, they are also able to help homeowners and renters as well», said Grant County Emergency Management Director Steve Braun.

Braun said in Grant County, historically more homeowners and renters have applied for SBA assistance than businesses.

“Disaster loans can play an important part in the recovery process, helping families, renters and businesses get back on their feet again,” said Braun in a news release.

SBA Customer Service Representatives will be available at a Disaster Loan Outreach Center at 50 S. Water St. in Platteville beginning today through July 24. The center is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application through the SBA’s secure website at

Information and loan applications are also available by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing-impaired), or by emailing Loan applications can also be downloaded at Completed applications can be returned to the center or mailed to the SBA.

SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets for homeowners, renters, businesses and most private nonprofit organizations.

“Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta. SBA’s customer service representatives are available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.

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Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, to make improvements that help prevent the risk of future property damage caused by a similar disaster.

 For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.  EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

 Interest rates are as low as 2.188 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.625 percent for nonprofit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Grant County Emergency Management is the primary contact for households with urgent unmet needs, including shelter and temporary housing. Emergency Management is working with the American Red Cross and Salvation Army. For assistance, call 723-7171.

Other available disaster assistance:

•    Funds that were approved but not allocated for last summer’s northern Grant County flooding may be used for this year’s storm damage. The Grant County Community Block Development Grant — Emergency Housing Assistance Committee has applied for an amendment to the 2013 grant to use up to $200,000 in remaining funding for assistance for severe weather June 16–30.

Eligible activities include repair of damaged foundations, floors, walls, roof and basic structural components; home mechanicals and electrical, plumbing, and smoke alarms; damaged wells and septic systems; damaged weatherization, siding, steps, and walkways; severely washed out driveways; grading, filling, preventing future damage; and other items to make the home decent, safe, sound, and sanitary. Eligibility is limited to households with 80 percent of the county’s median income, which is from $32,850 for a one-person household to $50,700 for a five-person household.

•    The Platteville Area Long-Term Recovery Committee is collecting donations and administering the Platteville Tornado Relief Fund, which was set up by the Platteville Regional Chamber and Building Platteville. A case manager provided by the United Methodist Church Wisconsin Conference is working with families.

•    The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides disaster assistance through the USDA Rural Development Program, including the 502 Direct Loan Program and Guaranteed Rural Housing Program, and the 504 Home Repair Loan and Grant Programs. For more information, call 935-2791 ext. 4.

•    The Tomorrow’s Home Foundation can provide emergency grants to assist with repairs to manufactured homes. For more information, call (608) 255-1088.

•    The Grant County Aging and Disability Resource Center can assist people 60 and older and people with disabilities in disaster recovery tasks. For more information, call 723-6113.