SPRINGFIELD – March 22, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the state’s request for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster declaration has been approved for nine counties in Southern Illinois that were hit by deadly tornadoes and severe storms on Feb 29.
The declaration makes low-interest loans available to homeowners, renters and businesses in the primary county of Saline, as well as the contiguous counties of Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Johnson, Pope, White and Williamson.
“I’m very pleased with the swift approval of our request for SBA assistance,” Governor Quinn said. “This is great news for many people and businesses who suffered devastating losses from the tornadoes and severe storms. The low-interest, long-term loans available through SBA will provide a much-needed helping hand as people repair and rebuild their homes and businesses.”
Governor Quinn submitted the request for an SBA disaster declaration on Wednesday after receiving word that the state’s appeal to FEMA for a federal disaster declaration had been denied. In his letter to the SBA, Governor Quinn affirmed that there are at least 25 homes and/or businesses that sustained uninsured losses of 40 percent or more.
“These low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration will be a big help for the people who lost homes and businesses to the terrible storms and tornadoes,” said Sen. Gary Forby (D-Benton). “The state of Illinois has been great. We're already doing a lot for these unfortunate families. I'm glad that the federal government is lending a hand, too.”
“Although I was disappointed that we did not receive a FEMA disaster declaration, I am happy that the SBA approved the Governor’s request for assistance so quickly,” said Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg). “These low-interest loans mean that the people of southern Illinois can put the devastation of last month’s storms in the past, and instead work on rebuilding and moving forward.”
“This SBA disaster declaration will help many people and businesses with their recovery efforts,” said Jonathon Monken, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). “I encourage people to contact the SBA to learn more about these loans.”