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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 5, 1999

GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF FEDERAL ASSISTANCE FOR TORNADO AND STORM DAMAGED AREAS

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) granted his request for federal long-term, low-interest loans in Cass and Hancock counties as a result of tornado and storm damage on April 8.

"I am pleased that this federal assistance is being made available to homeowners and business owners who suffered property losses during the tornadoes," Ryan said. "Combined with the state's clean-up efforts, state energy assistance and public aid grants, and volunteer efforts, we hope this federal loan program can help Ashland, Hamilton, Warsaw and other affected communities get back on their feet."

Included as part of the SBA disaster declaration, homeowners and business owners who suffered losses in counties contiguous to Cass and Hancock also are eligible. Those contiguous counties include: Adams, Brown, Henderson, Mason, McDonough, Menard, Morgan, Sangamon, and Schuyler.

The SBA is expected to announce the opening early next week of offices in Ashland and Hamilton. Once these offices are open, individuals and businesses suffering storm-related damage may visit these offices to complete loan applications. The low-interest loans are available to cover losses not covered by insurance. Homeowners and renters may be eligible for loans to cover physical damage. Business owners may be eligible for economic injury loans as well as loans for physical damage.


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