Thursday, February 22, 2024


Sandy Disaster Recovery Assistance from SBA

By Lenora Boninfante

COURT HOUSE – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) remind Hurricane Sandy survivors to fill out their SBA disaster loan applications. An SBA disaster loan, which is part of the FEMA assistance program, can help homeowners, renters and businesses cover any repair or rebuilding costs not completely covered by private insurance or disaster-related damage costs which exceed the initial estimate.
Homeowners may receive loans of up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residences.
Homeowners and renters may also borrow up to $40,000 to replace damaged or destroyed personal property, including vehicles.
Businesses and private nonprofits can apply for loans of up to $2 million with interest rates for businesses as low as 4 percent to cover physical damage and economic injury caused by the disaster.
For private nonprofits, interest rates are as low as 3 percent and for homeowners and for renters the rates are as low as 1.688 percent with terms as long as 30 years.
Registered survivors who receive a low-interest disaster loan application from SBA should complete and return the application even if they do not plan to accept a loan. By completing the application, applicants may become eligible for additional grants from FEMA. By not completing and returning the applications, survivors could potentially be leaving recovery assistance money on the table.
SBA customer service representatives are available to issue or accept low-interest disaster loan applications and answer questions at all New Jersey/FEMA disaster recovery centers. To locate the nearest business recovery center, visit or call 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339.) To find the nearest disaster recovery center, check out the disaster recovery center locator at or, with a tablet or smartphone, go to You may also text “DRC” and your Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA). For example, if you lived in Atlantic City, you would text: “DRC 08401.” Or call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585).
Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at More information is available by calling the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center toll-free number, 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339.) Assistance is also available by sending an email to or by visiting
The Federal Emergency Management Agency operates Disaster Recovery Centers to assist individuals, businesses and local governments who have suffered losses from Hurricane Sandy. Visiting a FEMA DRC allows residents and business owners to register for assistance, speak one-on-one to recovery representatives and receive other important information regarding federal programs to assist in the recovery effort.
FEMA and SBA program specialists are available at Disaster Recovery Centers to provide information and answer questions and help resolve problems. These experts also include mitigation specialists who can provide guidance on cost-effective rebuilding and repair techniques to reduce property damage in future disasters.
Cape May County:
• Ocean City Library, 1735 Simpson Ave., Ocean City
• Cape May County Main Library, 30 W. Mechanic Street, Cape May Courthouse (lower level)

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