The deadline for businesses to submit disaster loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration for damage caused by the Queen Anne’s Gate Apartments fire on June 14, 2008, is September 2, 2008.

Businesses in the counties of Bristol, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Providence County in the State of Rhode Island are eligible to apply to SBA.

SBA offers loans up to $200,000 to repair disaster damaged primary residences. Loans to businesses of all sizes are available up to $2 million to repair damage to real estate, inventory, machinery, and equipment. Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) are also available to small businesses unable to pay bills or meet operating expenses because of the disaster.

Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based upon each applicant’s financial condition.

Additionally, disaster victims with insurance should not wait for an insurance settlement before applying to SBA. If victims do not know how much of their loss will be covered by insurance or other sources, SBA will consider making a loan for the total loss up to its loan limits, provided the borrower agrees to use insurance proceeds to reduce or repay their SBA loan.

SBA also offers mitigation funds to disaster victims. SBA’s mitigation funds are designed to help borrowers fund protective measures which may prevent damages of the same kind in the future. To help fund these protective measures, borrowers may request up to 20 percent of their verified physical losses.

Disaster victims may obtain an application by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing-impaired), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT or by emailing our customer service center at Business loan applications can also be downloaded from Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX. 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical damage is September 2, 2008. The deadline to return economic injury applications is April 3, 2009.

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