$186K in disaster loans OK’d for homes so far to help cover damage from June 18-19 Monroe County floods

Four Monroe County homeowners or renters have received loans so far from the federal Small Business Administration for damages from the June 18-19 floods, according to Julie Garrett with the SBA.

Looking south on Grant Street from Kirkwood in the early morning hours of June 19, 2021.

Garrett briefed the Monroe County board of commissioners on the topic of loans at their regular Wednesday morning meeting.

The total dollar figure of the loans approved so far is $186,900. The dollar amount, along with the number of loans approved, will probably increase.

Garrett told county commissioners that the SBA had spoken with 42 flooding victims at the information sessions that are being held at the county’s convention center on College Avenue.

Six business loans and 33 other home loans are in the works, Garrett said.

The sessions started last week. They will continue through Friday this week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

But Garrett stressed that the application deadline for SBA physical disaster loans  is not until Sept. 7. Garrett said assistance is also available seven days a week by calling 800-659-2955 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. An appointment for one-on-one help can be made by sending an email message to FOCE-Help@sba.gov.

The fact that the SBA provides disaster loans to homeowners and renters is a point of confusion, Garrett told commissioners on Wednesday, because of the word “business” in the agency’s name.

Monroe County’s emergency management director, Allison Moore, said it’s important for homeowners and renters who want to receive assistance through the Indiana Department of Homeland Security from the Indiana Disaster Relief Fund to check first to see if they qualify for an SBA loan.

The daily convention center information sessions, which run through the end of the week, include representatives from SBA and DHS alike.

Garrett said that the SBA does have credit standards for loan applicants, but does not release them to the public. That’s to avoid discouraging anybody from trying to apply for a disaster loan, according to Garrett.

She added that an SBA loan is easier to qualify for than a loan from a commercial bank, but the SBA still does an income check and looks to see if people routinely pay their bills.