By Chris Barrett
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – The U.S. Small Business Administration said Thursday it has approved 236 loans totaling $5.5 million for people in Rhode Island affected by last month’s record flooding.
The SBA’s Disaster Assistance Loans provide businesses with up to $2 million to repair or replace real estate and equipment damaged by flooding. Interest rates start at 4 percent for businesses and 3 percent for nonprofit organizations.
Homeowners can also qualify for loans of up to $200,000 to replace damaged real estate and $40,000 to replace damaged personal property. Those loans come with interest rates as low as 2.625 percent.
“We are pleased to be able to get these loans approved so the residents and businesses of Rhode Island can start rebuilding and resuming their normal lives,” Frank Skaggs, director of SBA Field Operations Center East in Atlanta, said in a statement.
The loans cover damage occurring since March 12, when the state experienced the first of two heavy rainstorms. The deadline for SBA flood loan applications is May 28.
Separately, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said 21,875 Rhode Islanders had registered with the agency and reported flood damage as of Tuesday. Spokesman Leo Skinner said the agency has approved $27.3 million in aid to affected homeowners and renters and dispersed $27.2 million.