Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski encourage Erie residents, businesses to apply for low-interest disaster loans

Based on SBA approval of Wolf disaster declaration

ERIE, Dec. 12 – State Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, are urging residents and business owners who suffered property damage from area storms Oct. 31-Nov. 1 to apply for a low-interest Small Business Association loan.

Federal assistance from the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program is now available after the agency approved Gov. Tom Wolf’s request to declare a disaster based on the severe storms, high winds and flooding that damaged numerous buildings and businesses.

“Unexpected storm damage can wreak havoc with residents’ lives and cause interruptions that impact a small business’s bottom line,” Bizzarro said. “I strongly encourage residents and business owners who suffered property damage from these storms to take advantage of this program, which can provide access to critical resources for rebuilding – especially when that damage is not covered by insurance.”

Harkins agreed, saying, “Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000, and owners and renters may be eligible for up to $40,000, to repair or replace personal property. In addition, businesses and nonprofits that suffered damage to their buildings, equipment or inventory can apply for up to $2 million in assistance. This is funding that can help residents put their affairs back in order and help businesses get back on their feet.”    

Merski added that the SBA will be establishing a help center at the North East Township Building to assist applicants.

“Residents and business owners wishing to apply can get help from SBA representatives, who will be on-hand to distribute applications, explain the program, answer questions and help people apply,” Merski said. “But people should act soon, because the deadline to file for
physical property damage is Feb. 10, 2020.”

More information about the disaster declaration and help center is available here.