Federal agency providing loans for flood relief in West MI

WEST MICHIGAN — The federal government is stepping in to help countless homeowners and businesses left underwater in mid-March after severe flooding.

The Small Business Administration is providing disaster relief to those dealing with the cleanup, but there is a deadline to apply.

Don’t let the name fool you. The SBA said it has loans for homeowners, renters and non-profits too. Kent, Muskegon, Newaygo and Montcalm are among the nine counties where people are eligible to apply.

The water has receded now, but property owners along Martin Lake near Fremont are living with the aftermath of March’s flooding. Many are having to pay for damages out of pocket.

SBA spokeswoman Laurie Dana said that’s why the Small Business Administration has set up shop in Newaygo County. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency there in late March.

“The economy depends on people having the money to spend at the businesses and to recover quickly,” Dana said.

To help make the recovery happen efficiently, Dana said the SBA is providing low-interest federal loans. Homeowners can borrow up to $200,000 for repairs. Homeowners and renters can borrow up to $40,000 to replace damaged items, including vehicles. Businesses can borrow up to $2 million.

“These loans are to cover uninsured losses. People don’t have to wait for their insurance to apply for a disaster loan. In fact, we encourage people to get in there and apply,” Dana said.

She said the deadline to apply for the loan is June 3. If interested, you can go in-person to the Fremont Community Recreation Center until 4 p.m. Friday. You can also apply online at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.

Information and a loan application can also be obtained by calling 1-800-659-2955. The deaf and hard-of-hearing can call 1-800-877-8339.

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