A home hangs over the edge of an eroded riverbank after part of the neighboring house fell into the Mendenhall River during the record flooding of Suicide Basin on Aug. 5. The rest of the second home was later demolished. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)

A home hangs over the edge of an eroded riverbank after part of the neighboring house fell into the Mendenhall River during the record flooding of Suicide Basin on Aug. 5. The rest of the second home was later demolished. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)

Federal SBA loans available for people, businesses affected by Suicide Basin flooding

Agency responds favorably to state request after FEMA rejects disater aid.

This is a developing story.

People and businesses affected by the record flooding of Suicide Basin are eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans, a decision the U.S. Small Business Administration made under its own authority after a federal disaster declaration for individual assistance was denied, according to a statement by the agency released Friday.

[FEMA disaster aid denied for residents, infrastructure affected by Suicide Basin flooding]

The SBA’s action follows a request on Wednesday from the state for an SBA administrative disaster declaration. Gov. Mike Dunleavy declared the Aug. 5 flooding a state disaster three days later and requested federal aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was denied in a brief statement published by FEMA early last week.

“SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster following the Sept. 26 FEMA denial of a major disaster declaration for individual assistance, and the state’s request for an SBA Administrative disaster declaration received on Oct. 4,” SBA’s statement notes. “The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in the City and Borough of Juneau, and the neighboring areas of Chatham REAA, Haines Borough, Petersburg Borough.”

The flooding damaged or destroyed dozens of homes along and near the Mendenhall River, which sustained massive erosion and remains an ongoing worry among residents in the area concerned about safeguarding against similar flooding in the future.

The City and Borough of Juneau will open a disaster loan outreach center at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10 — one day after the deadline to apply for state disaster aid. The center will remain open weekdays from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until Oct. 24.

Beyond that date the deadline to apply for property damage is Dec. 5, according to the SBA. The deadline to apply for economic injury is July 8, 2024.

“Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets,” the statement notes. “SBA can also lend additional funds to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize disaster damage from occurring in the future.”

Homeowners can apply for disaster loans up to $500,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed property, and renters are eligible for up to $100,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property, including personal vehicles.

Interest rates can be as low as 4% for businesses, 2.375% for private nonprofit organizations, and 2.5% for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Interest does not begin to accrue until 12 months from the date of the first disaster loan disbursement. SBA disaster loan repayment begins 12 months from the date of the first disbursement.

Online applications and information are available at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov. Applicants can also call SBA’s customer service center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information.

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com or (907) 957-2306.

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