The US Small Business Administration’s Regional Administrator for New England, Jeanne Hulit is encouraging survivors affected by Tropical Storm Irene in the State of Vermont to register for assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and return completed SBA disaster loan applications to get the help they need. The SBA’s low-interest disaster loan program is the primary source of federal funds for long-term recovery for uninsured damages caused by a declared disaster. ‘We are coordinating recovery efforts with our SBA Resource Partners along with federal, state and local stakeholders in the declared disaster area to ensure affected survivors receive proper assistance from the SBA. Taking time to complete and return the loan application package to the SBA is an important part of the recovery process,’ Hulit said.Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property. Businesses and private non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million for physical losses and working capital needs. Interest rates are as low as 2.5 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. ‘The SBA District Office and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network in Vermont are reaching out to local businesses to make sure they have access to federal resources to help them recover from the disaster,’ said SBA Vermont District Director, Darcy Carter. ‘We encourage all small businesses affected by the disaster to stop by the Disaster Recovery Centers where they can ask questions specific to their situation and get answers right on the spot from the disaster center staff.’ Area advisors from the VtSBDC network are available to assist business owners evaluate their situation and prepare documents needed for disaster loan applications. In Vermont, call 1-800-464-7232 or visit www.vtsbdc.org(link is external) and click on ‘location’ to find the advisor in your area. ‘Our team of experienced business professionals can help devastated individuals examine the overall condition and health of their business, and review options for the future,’ said VtSBDC State Director, Lenae Quillen-Blume. ‘The local advisor is in contact with Disaster Recovery Center staff and has an understanding of programs available and requirements of them.’ The disaster declaration covers the counties of Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Chittenden, Orange, Rutland, Washington Windham and Windsor in Vermont, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private non-profit organizations in the following neighboring counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, and Orleans in Vermont; Berkshire and Franklin in Massachusetts; Cheshire, Grafton and Sullivan in New Hampshire; and Clinton, Essex, Rensselaer and Washington in New York. To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 800-621-FEMA (3362), (TTY) 800-462-7585 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Additional information on the loan application process and the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer ServiceCenter at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to [email protected](link sends e-mail). Those affected by the disaster may also apply for disaster loans electronically from SBA’s website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/(link is external). The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is October 31, 2011.The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 1, 2012.