FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2011
Office of the Governor
Contact: Jeff Caldwell
Phone: (804) 225-4260
Department of Emergency Management
Contact: Bob Spieldenner
Phone: (804) 674-2400
Governor McDonnell Requests SBA Loan Assistance for Tornado Recovery
RICHMOND –Governor Bob McDonnell today asked the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to make emergency low-interest loans available to homeowners, renters and businesses who had major damage from the April tornadoes.
The governor requested SBA assistance for Pulaski and Washington counties. If the request is approved in these areas, then residents with damage in adjacent localities are automatically eligible to apply for these loans as well. Unfortunately, other areas in the Commonwealth that experienced damage in the April storms do not meet SBA requirements for assistance, according to information collected during earlier damage assessments.
Virginia could not move forward with a request for SBA assistance until the completion of the FEMA appeal. Yesterday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declined the governor’s appeal to grant individual assistance to people and businesses affected by the storm.
“Many Virginians are still trying to get back on their feet following the tornadoes,” said Governor Bob McDonnell. “While the resiliency of Virginians has been demonstrated time and again by those who have been impacted by natural disasters such as these, and by the fellow citizens who have reached out to provide a helping hand after these storms, these low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration can help those facing major repairs to their homes and those needing to replace personal property.”
The SBA can provide real property loans of up to $200,000 to homeowners to repair or restore their primary home to its pre-disaster condition. Also, the agency can authorize personal property loans to provide homeowners or renters with up to $40,000 to help repair or replace personal property, such as clothing, furniture and automobiles lost in the disaster. In addition, businesses suffering damage could receive loans to help repair or replace damaged property and for loss of business.
The SBA loans would augment other efforts under way to provide aid to the storm victims. Volunteer groups have been active in affected areas since the first severe weather hit on April 8. To assist charitable groups in their efforts to help Virginians recover, Governor McDonnell established the Virginia Disaster Relief Fund. The governor announced in May that $600,000 in anticipated state agency savings will be added to the fund to go toward helping Virginians who were affected by severe weather and tornadoes that struck the Commonwealth in April.
A website has been created to process credit card donations at http://disasterrelief.vi.virginia.gov/. Those who wish to write a check can do so by making checks payable to the Treasurer of Virginia with “tornado relief” noted in the memo line. Send checks to Comptroller’s Office, P.O. Box 1971, Richmond, VA 23218-1971. Donations are tax deductible.
Be ready. Be willing to help.
Virginia Disaster Relief Fund
How is the money distributed?
Fund proceeds will be distributed to local long-term recovery groups, members of the Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and other non-profit and faith-based organizations as a grant.
Many of these groups work directly with individuals and families following a disaster.
How else can I donate?
The Virginia Disaster Relief Fund benefits projects that include: repair or rebuilding of underinsured dwellings, transportation assistance, replacing essential household items, helping renters establish new rental residence, temporary living expenses while recovering from loss, and more.
How can I donate?
If you want to help, send checks made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia with “Virginia Disaster Relief Fund” noted in the memo line to:
P.O. Box 1971
Richmond, VA 23218-1971