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PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the counties of Kent and Providence and the contiguous counties of Bristol and Washington in the State of Rhode Island; the contiguous counties of New London and Windham in the State of Connecticut and the contiguous counties of Bristol, Norfolk and Worcester in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have been declared a disaster area as a result of the flooding that occurred on October 7 - 15, 2005.

“As a result of this declaration, low-interest loans are available to homeowners, renters, and businesses that sustained damages from the flooding,” said Frank Skaggs, Director of SBA Field Operations Center - East. “If you are a victim of this incident, you are eligible to apply for this assistance,” Skaggs added.

To assist disaster victims, SBA is opening a temporary Disaster Loan Assistance Center in the SBA District Office, 380 Westminster Street, Room 511 in Providence. The Center will open on Friday, January 27 at noon and will remain open Monday through Friday, between 8:00 and 4:30 p.m., until further notice.

SBA offers loans up to $40,000 for renters and homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged personal property such as furniture and clothing. Homeowners are eligible for loans up to $200,000 to repair disaster damaged primary residences. Loans to businesses of all sizes and non-profit organizations are available up to $1.5 million to repair damage to real estate, machinery, equipment and inventory. Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) are also available to small businesses unable to pay bills or meet operating expenses.

Interest rates are as low as 2.687 percent for renters and homeowners and 4.000 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based upon each applicant’s financial condition.

“We want everyone who had damages caused by the flooding to come in and personally meet with an SBA Representative. Our Representatives will be glad to answer any questions about the disaster loan program, give you a disaster loan application, and provide any extra help you may need or want with completing the application,” Skaggs said.

Anyone unable to visit the Disaster Loan Assistance Center may obtain applications by calling the SBA Disaster Assistance National Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (for the hearing-impaired 1-800-877-8339); Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. EST. Applications may be obtained, completed and returned to the Disaster Loan Assistance Center or mailed to: U. S. Small Business Administration, National Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76155.

The deadline for physical damage applications is March 27, 2006; the deadline for economic injury applications is October 26, 2006.

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For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Programs visit our website at

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