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Boreal Community Media

Loan deadline approaching for northern Minnesotans affected by flooding

Oct 18, 2022 02:20PM ● By Editor
Photo: MN DPS

From the Minnesota Department of Public Safety • October 17, 2022

Between April 22 and June 15, torrential rains hit northern Minnesota hard. That led to a new flood record in the Rainy River Basin and caused flooding that took several weeks to recede. That's when unprecedented work began for property owners and renters in Koochiching County and its neighbors: Beltrami, Itasca, Lake of the Woods and Saint Louis counties. For more than 60 days, people spent countless hours sandbagging, constructing dikes and running pumps to keep the water from intruding their property. Some were more successful than others were. In July, a Homeland Security and Emergency Management damage assessment determined nearly 300 property owners suffered more than $1.2 million in damage.

The clean-up since then has been ongoing and expensive. While the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denied Minnesota's request for an individual assistance disaster declaration for the 15 northern counties that experienced the historic flooding, there is another option available.

People affected by the flooding can get some help thanks to a recent disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Home and business owners in the counties listed above can apply for low-interest, long term loans to help them recover following the flooding.

 “The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Minnesota with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans," said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA."

There are multiple types of loans available, including business physical disaster loans, which provide funds to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by a business. Businesses of any size are eligible, as are private non-profit organizations, such as charities, churches and private universities.

Homeowners or renters can also get loans to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and personal property, including cars.

Interest rates are as low as 2.94 percent for businesses, 1.875 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.438 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years.

But time to apply for these loans is running out! Applicants will have to meet the credit requirements and the deadline to apply is Nov. 7, so if you have damage, don't wait.

Those interested can apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website and should apply under SBA declaration # 17612 or call the SBA's Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 for more information.​