Flood Relief: Assistance still available to groups, businesses, individuals until Nov. 6

Kali Katerberg/Daily Mining Gazette Rubble obscures yards in Ripley shortly after flash flooding in mid-June.

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP — Representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA) left the Copper Country early this week, but flood recovery assistance from the SBA will be available until Nov. 6.

The low-interest and unsecured loans are available to homeowners, renters, nonprofits and businesses. Even low-income individuals who might not otherwise qualify for a loan may be able to utilize them.

Franklin Township Supervisor Mary Sears saw quite a few people come to fill out paperwork and start the process. She noted that she didn’t see anyone from Ripley, one of the hardest-hit communities in the June 17 flood.

Of the applications received so far most came from the local outreach center with a total of 25 received so far, said SBA public affairs specialist and former on-site coordinator Karen Knapik.

So far a little more than half of them have been processed, with $178,000 in assistance approved.

For those who missed the in-person window, applications are still available by calling 800-659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or applying online at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.

Those applying using the online form can also call during the process if they have any questions or would like a walk-through.

“That 800 number is gold, because they’re always there,” said Knapik.

Even for those who already took loans for damages or paid for repairs on credit cards the SBA loan can be used to pay them off, providing a lower interest rate.

“The rates that we offer are always better than market rate, she explained.

For homeowners and renters, the process is fairly quick, though businesses can take a little longer. Additionally, SBA offers can be appealed when needed over interest rate, payback period or amount.

“The point of our program is to help you recover, to help you get back to where you were before the disaster,” Knapik said.