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SBA loans available to pay for storm damage

The Small Business Administration has granted a request for disaster loans in the wake of storms that pounded Long Island between March 12 and 30, according to federal legislators.

Tuesday, Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both New York Democrats, and Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) joined Gov. David A. Paterson in announcing the federal loans would be available.

The low-interest loans will be available to homeowners, renters, businesses and nonprofit organizations to to pay for cleanup after the storms.

Long Island was battered by severe rain and wind in mid-March, and heavy rain on March 30. That series of storms, which included record-level rain, caused the Long Island water table to rise to unprecedented levels, causing widespread basement flooding.

Paterson asked last Friday for damage assessments in Suffolk County. The Federal Emergency Management Agency conducted the assessment.

While New York did not meet FEMA's criteria for its disaster assistance, the results of that assessment showed that 429 homes and 38 businesses surveyed suffered uninsured losses of 40 percent or more of their estimated pre-disaster fair market value.

According to statement from Paterson, renters and homeowners may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars or appliances. Homeowners may apply for up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence to its pre-disaster condition, the Paterson statement said.

Small businesses and nonprofits may be eligible for economic injury disaster loans to help with normal expenses that may not be able to be paid now.

Businesses also may apply for a physical disaster loan of up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged real estate, equipment, inventory and fixtures.

The application deadline for physical disaster loans is June 18; the deadline for filing applications for economic injury loans is Jan. 19.

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