U.S. Small Business Administration to survey Michigan flood damage

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WILX The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is working with Michigan State Police and local emergency managers to conduct damage assessments over the next week in eight Lower Peninsula counties affected by flooding in February.

On March 13, Gov. Rick Snyder requested the SBA perform assessments to pave the path toward a physical and economic disaster declaration, which would provide additional financial assistance to Michiganders recovering from the recent floods.

“This is a necessary step to receive SBA assistance,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division.

“I have instructed my staff to continue to work closely with our local emergency management partners and the SBA as we move through this process.”

If approved, the SBA disaster assistance program would make low-interest loans available to eligible residents and businesses affected by heavy rainfall and snow melt on Feb. 19-21 that resulted in widespread flooding. In addition to Arenac, Barry, Berrien, Ingham, Kalamazoo, Kent, Newaygo and St. Joseph counties, the declaration would cover the neighboring counties of Allegan, Bay, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Clinton, Eaton, Gladwin, Ionia, Iosco, Jackson, Lake, Livingston, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Oceana, Ogemaw, Osceola, Ottawa, Shiawassee, Van Buren and Washtenaw.

The SBA disaster assistance program provides low-interest loans for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, inventory, and business assets that were damaged or destroyed. The SBA tailors the repayment of each disaster loan to the borrower’s financial capability.

If the declaration is approved, temporary Disaster Loan Outreach Centers may be established in the impacted areas for one-on-one assistance. Loan applications also will be made available online or by mail.

Gov. Snyder declared a state of disaster on March 12 for 17 counties and two cities after heavy rainfall and snow melt on Feb. 19-21 resulted in widespread flooding damage, making state aid and financial assistance available to communities in the disaster area.