Gillibrand Urges SBA to Expedite Disaster Loans for Nearly One Thousand Small Biz and Homeowners Devastated by Superstorm Sandy
Senator Urges SBA to Speed Up & Streamline Hundreds of Disaster Loan Applications to Allow Communities to Rebuild, Ensure Disaster Loans Are Low-Interest
New York, NY – June 10, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — With nearly one thousand New Yorkers facing delays on securing Sandy-related federal loans and hundreds more still waiting on a final decision on their disaster loan applications, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today urged the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to expedite and streamline the disaster loan application process for New York businesses and homeowners devastated by Superstorm Sandy. Senator Gillibrand is also urging the agency to ensure that disaster loans are in fact low-interest, since the SBA has discretion to set the interest rate for each individual applicant, with rates set as high as eight percent.
Currently, more than 380 New York businesses hit by Sandy have received loan approvals but are still waiting to receive the funds to begin repairs and rebuilding, according to estimates from the SBA. The agency estimates approximately 140 businesses are in application limbo, waiting on the status of their eligibility. On average, the SBA takes 42 days to approve or deny a loan application, which is double the agency’s target approval time.
“Our New York businesses and homeowners who suffered damages from the storm should not wait any longer for money to make critical repairs,” said Senator Gillibrand. “With many businesses still unable to open their doors or reopening with bare essentials, these delayed loans have been held up for too long. We must cut through the red tape so affordable disaster loans can finally reach those who desperately need it.”
Senator Gillibrand wrote in a letter to SBA Administrator Karen Mills, “As businesses fight to reopen and homeowners struggle to rebuild, it is unacceptable for applicants to languish without an answer and without approved funding for weeks, even months on end…At this critical juncture in the recovery effort, I ask you to work toward expediting all outstanding SBA claims, in addition to streamlining the overall loan application process, so that New Yorkers can rebuild their communities… it is critical to ensure that the SBA’s low-interest disaster loans are indeed low-interest.”
In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, thousands of New York’s businesses and homeowners applied for federal loans through SBA’s Disaster Loan Program. Eligible businesses can receive up to $2 million in federal loans. The Sandy federal relief aid that Senator Gillibrand helped pass in January 2013 included $161 million for SBA to provide low-interest financing for the repair and rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property for homeowners, renters, and businesses.
Full text of Senator Gillibrand’s letter is below:
Dear Administrator Mills,
I am writing with concern regarding the delays in the processing of Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans for New York businesses and homeowners impacted by Superstorm Sandy.
Over seven months ago, Superstorm Sandy tore an unprecedented path of destruction across the region, causing tens of billions of dollars in damage to New York. As you know, in New York alone, the SBA has received over 51,000 applications for business and home disaster loans. Under your leadership, the SBA has worked diligently to approve $1.4 billion in business and home disaster loans for New Yorkers in need. At the same time, however, many businesses and homeowners are still awaiting loan decisions and loan disbursement.
In fact, there are currently more than 200 New Yorkers still waiting for an initial decision on their application, and nearly 1,000 New Yorkers face continued delays in closing on an approved loan. It has taken the SBA an average of 42 days to approve or deny a loan application, which is twice the SBA’s performance goal of 21 days. As businesses fight to reopen and homeowners struggle to rebuild, it is unacceptable for applicants to languish without an answer and without approved funding for weeks, even months on end.
Based on several cases brought to my attention by small businesses in New York City and Long Island, the complexities of the SBA disaster loan application process are contributing to these delays. Some financially strapped small business owners have even been forced to hire legal counsel to navigate the complicated process. I understand that each loan application is unique and appreciate the SBA’s commitment to rigorous underwriting that ensures taxpayer dollars are well spent. Nonetheless, the SBA must work to simplify the disaster loan application process.
In addition, it is critical to ensure that the SBA’s low-interest disaster loans are indeed low-interest. If the SBA determines that an applicant can obtain credit elsewhere, the agency can issue a disaster loan with an interest rate as high as 8 percent for Business Physical Disaster Loans, and no higher than 4 percent if the business does not have credit elsewhere. For Economic Injury Disaster Loans for businesses, the interest rate is 4 percent or less. Small businesses and homeowners impacted by Superstorm Sandy should be able to take advantage of the historically low rates currently available to corporations and to the government. The SBA should use its authority to offer as low of interest rates as possible to ensure that hard-hit businesses are not saddled with burdensome debt.
Superstorm Sandy’s economic impacts have proven to be both extensive and complex. I commend your leadership and the professionalism and compassion of your staff on the ground in the weeks and months after the storm. At this critical juncture in the recovery effort, I ask you to work toward expediting all outstanding SBA claims, streamlining the overall loan application process, and ensuring access to affordable loans so that New Yorkers can rebuild their communities.
I thank you for your commitment to the people of New York and appreciate your consideration of this urgent request.
- Schumer, Gillibrand Announce More Aid On Its Way, Sba Grants Li’s Request For Loans For Homeowners After March Storms Devastated The Region
New York, NY - April 20, 2010 - (RealEstateRama) -- U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand announced today that the Small Business Administration (SBA) has granted Long Island’s request for disaster loans for the March 12-30 storms that walloped the area. ...
- SBA Loans Help Homeowners and Renters, Not Just Business
NEW YORK, NY - December 3, 2012 - (RealEstateRama) -- Don't let the word "business" in the name U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) fool you. If you are a homeowner or renter, the SBA is a primary source of federal funds for long-term recovery....
- Gillibrand Urges Feds to Help Speed Up $200 Million in Delayed Insurance Payments to Sandy Homeowners
New York, NY - February 13, 2013 - (RealEstateRama) -- After an investigation by New York State’s Department of Financial Services found that banks have delayed approximately $200 million in Superstorm Sandy related insurance payments to thousands of New York homeowners, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today to review the matter and find the...
- SBA Disaster Loan Important for Homeowners and Renters
NEW YORK, NY - January 23, 2012 - (RealEstateRama) -- Of the more than 161,000 low-interest U. S. Small Business Administration disaster loan applications sent to New York’s Hurricane Sandy survivors, fewer than 34,000 have been completed and returned....
- An SBA disaster loan can be smart business
NEW YORK, NY - February 5, 2013 - (RealEstateRama) -- Survivors may not know about disaster help from the U.S. Small Business Administration that could lead to a smarter, faster recovery for businesses, homeowners or private nonprofits. There’s a loan for lost business caused by Hurricane Sandy. There’s also a loan available to a homeowner association to have a common...
- At Gillibrand & Schumer’s Urging, Feds Lift Restrictions for Hundreds of Sandy Homeowners Currently Disqualified for Disaster Aid
- House passes crucial job training legislation
- Tonko Statement on Housing for Undocumented Children
- Governor Cuomo Announces $14 Million in Awards for Affordable Housing
- Governor Cuomo Deploys DFS Mobile Command Center to Branchport to Help Finger Lakes Area Flood Victims
- EPA Settlement with Rochester Area Home Builder Protects Area Waterways; Developer Agrees to Construct Project to Reduce Polluted Stormwater Discharges
- NYCOM Conference, Ribbon Cuttings and Equity Fund Forum Highlight Trip to Finger Lakes Region
- CKX Declares December 31st Record Date for Dividend of FX Real Estate and Entertainment Shares
- Jones Lang LaSalle Hires Seasoned Industrial Real Estate Professionals to Strengthen Client Services in Long Island
- First Affordable Housing Development in Brooklyn with Solar Panels
- “Green” Forum Highlights 545 Madison Avenue as Showcase of Sustainability
- New York State Senate Confirms Bill Myers to the Board of the State of New York Mortgage Agency
- New York State home sales continue to post gains compared to 2009
- Gillibrand Introduces Solar Energy Legislation
- HDC Board Approves $55.5 Million in Tax-Exempt Multi-family Housing Revenue Bonds
- Diversity Works’ Unique Model Combines Permanent Supportive Housing and Family Preservation Services