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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2001

Seven Illinois Counties Receive U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George Ryan announced today that the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved his request to provide disaster assistance in the form of low-interest loans to the residents of Henry County and the contiguous counties of Bureau, Knox, Mercer, Rock Island, Stark and Whiteside. Flooding from the Rock River in the Village of Cleveland and surrounding area in Henry County caused damage to homes and businesses during the latter part of February. This flood was caused by an ice jam, inundating the area in a matter of hours.

"This assistance will provide low-interest loans to individuals and business owners to repair the damage to their homes and businesses," Ryan said. "After touring the area and seeing the damage sustained, I know this declaration will provide much needed financial assistance to the residents of Henry County and the surrounding counties."

SBA will open a temporary disaster loan assistance office at the Colona Fire Department, 401 1st Street (IL Hwy 84) in Colona. The office will be open Monday, April 2 through Saturday, April 7 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Beginning Monday, April 9, the office will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until further notice.

SBA offers loans of up to $200,000 to repair disaster-damaged homes. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to replace personal property. Loans to businesses and non- profit organizations of up to $1.5 million are also available to repair damage to real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, etc. Economic Injury Disaster Loans also may be made to small businesses unable to pay bills and meet expenses because of this disaster. Interest rates can be as low as 3.5 percent with loan terms up to 30 years. Actual loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based upon each applicant's financial condition.

The deadline for physical damage applications is May 29, 2001; the deadline for economic injury applications is Dec. 31, 2001



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