By Chase Rheam
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Financial assistance for people affected by recent wildfires in Payne County is available.
The U.S. Small Business Administration opened the Payne County Disaster Loan Outreach Center Wednesday at the Stillwater Community Center, 315 W. 8th St., room 104.
SBA Public Information Officer Cynthia Cowell said the center will offer low-interest loans for homeowners, renters and business owners.
“Apparently, several people in Payne County were devastated by the fire and unfortunately FEMA couldn’t help them so SBA did an agency declaration for them,” Cowell said.
The declaration was approved Monday and the center opened at 9 a.m. Wednesday, she said.
“We can lend up to $200,000 for homeowners to make repairs or to replace their homes; up to $40,000 for homeowners and renters to replace personal property and that includes cars,” Cowell said. “As for businesses, we have two types of loan programs. One is for physical damage and inventory up to $2 million and then we also have what’s called an economic injury disaster loan and that’s for a business that may or may not have suffered physical damage, but they’re losing income because people are not coming in and that would be up to $2 million.”
Cowell said the interest rate is 1.688 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for private and nonprofit organizations and 4 percent for other businesses. Cowell said those who wish to use the program will need to bring some items to the office.
“If they have financial information for a business, we will need financial statements,” she said.
Cowell said they will complete the application and overnight it to a processing facility in Fort Worth, Texas. On average, homeowners will receive funding in approximately two weeks.
Cowell said she would encourage anyone who had fire damage to apply.
The center is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. It will be closed Monday for Columbus Day.
For more information, call 800-659-2955 or click the disaster assistance button at the bottom of the page at www.sba.gov.