Blizzard disaster aid available to state's private nonprofits

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced Wednesday that certain private nonprofit organizations in Connecticut that do not provide critical services of a governmental nature may be eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans.

The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Indian tribes are also eligible to apply for the assistance.

The loans are available as a result of a presidential declaration in the wake of the severe winter storm on Feb. 8-11.

Examples of eligible organizations include food kitchens, homeless shelters, museums, libraries, community centers, schools and colleges.

Organizations are urged to contact the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security to obtain information about applicant briefings.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will determine whether the applicant provides an essential governmental service and meets the definition of a "critical facility." FEMA may provide the organization with a reimbursement grant for its eligible costs or refer the organization to the Small Business Administration for disaster loan assistance.

Organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and other business assets. The interest rate is 2.875 percent with terms up to 30 years.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via the SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Information and application forms may be obtained by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 (800) 877-8339 for the hearing impaired) or by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA at www.sba.gov.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is May 20, 2013. The deadline to return economic injury applications is December 23, 2013.

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