Low-Interest Loans Available for Flash Flood Victims

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TREMONT, Pa. -- Some financial assistance is being offered to flood victims in our area, and that includes some folks in hard-hit Schuylkill County.

The governor's office says the U.S. Small Business Administration will be in Tremont Thursday. That's a borough that was flooded numerous times this summer.

In Tremont, the destruction left behind by several weeks of summer flooding is still on display. Many homes still sit empty as they remain uninhabitable.

“We spent a lot of money getting back in our house. We were out for seven weeks,” said Betty Huntzinger. “We just came back about two and a half weeks ago.”

Now Governor Wolf's office says the U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest loans to homeowners and businesses affected by flooding during the week of July 21-27 in Schuylkill County.

Carbon, Columbia, Luzerne, and Northumberland counties are also included.

Homeowners can borrow up to $200,000. Businesses and nonprofits can request up to $2 million.

Hairstylist Rachel Joseph believes the salon where she works and other businesses in Tremont could benefit.

“Even though it isn't free money, it is stability for these people and to get some relief and have a backup plan, you know,” said Joseph.

But the Huntzingers don't feel the Small Business Administration loans will very helpful.

“2011 we filled out all the paperwork for a loan and we didn't go through with it because we could get a loan at our local banks at a lower rate than what they were offering,” said Betty Huntzinger.

“You want to take more money into a place that you don't really feel comfortable in?” said Betty’s daughter, Sherry Huntzinger. “It's a tough decision.”

Still, Tremont council member Jim Scheibley wants people to consider it.

“Do the proper paperwork that they need in order to apply for the SBA and hopefully move forward and hear from PEMA or FEMA,” said Scheibley.

“The governor's office says the Small Business Administration will be setting up a Disaster Loan Outreach Center at the Tremont borough building.

“Hopefully at least this is one step forward to getting the town back on its feet,” said Scheibley.

Money can be used to repair or replace damaged or destroyed homes and businesses.

The SBA will establish a Disaster Loan Outreach Center to assist anyone who wishes to apply for a loan. The DLOC will be open at the following location and times:

Tremont Municipal Office
139 Clay Street
Tremont, PA 17981

Opening: Thursday, October 25: 11 a.m.
Days: Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday, October 27: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Closed: Sunday, October 28
Closing: Thursday, November 1: 4 p.m.

Individuals and businesses unable to visit the centers in person may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955  (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired) or by e-mailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Get more information at the SBA website here.

The deadline to return applications for physical property damage is December 24, 2018.  The deadline to return economic injury disaster loan applications is July 23, 2019.

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