CRISFIELD, Md. - For those still rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy, some extra federal help is now available. But it comes at a cost.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is now accepting applications for low interest loans from homeowners, renters and business owners. The offer applies to Accomack County, Va., and Somerset and Worcester counties in Maryland. For some business owners in Crisfield, that is welcoming news after all the damage they sustained.
Shaa Yaya owns Crisfield Discount Pharmacy. He lost the entire bottom shelf of inventory in his store.
"Almost about $80,000 to $90,000 worth of damage. That includes all of the equipment, all the medications," Yaya said.
Another business owner, Geneva Riggin, said she tried to prepare her home decor shop for the worst when Sandy hit, but was still left with some damage.
"I had about 5 or 6 inches of water in here. But I didn't lose anything because I had everything blocked up but it was a lot of work, a lot of cleanup," Riggin said.
But those business owner said that now with these loans being available, they plan to take full advantage of them.
"Low interest loan would help a lot because it would help me get back on my feet a lot quickly," Yaya said.
However, other do not believe the loans are enough. Business owner Patty Green said more needs to be done for the people in need.
"Even the loans may not be as much help as they think they would be because they can't afford to pay for them," she said. "We need grant money."
There is no word on whether more federal aid will be available so for now, the loans are the best option.
In the qualifying counties, homeowners can apply for up to $200,000 for repairs and businesses of any size can apply for up to $2 million in loans.
As for the interest rates, homeowners and renters could see as low as 1.68 percent. Non-profit organizations will see rates around 3 percent and businesses can expect about a 4 percent interest rate on the loans. The terms on the loans can go up to 30 years.
All of the loan amounts and terms are to be set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition.
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