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Gov't Loans Available After Storms

Kealey Bultena

Small Business Administration professionals are in South Dakota this week and next helping connect people suffering from storm damage with government resources. The SBA has loans available to people directly harmed by June’s tornadoes and flooding, and some low-interest loans are open to organizations the storms impact indirectly.

Small Business Administration disaster loans are available to business owners, but they’re also open to non-profits, homeowners and renters. Garth MacDonald with the office of disaster assistance says anyone affected by the storms in 12 South Dakota counties can apply for government loans.

"And these low-interest loans can help homeowners rebuild their primary home with a loan up to $200,000," MacDonald says. "For renters, we can offer personal property loans up to $40,000. That could include an automobile that was damaged by flooding or hail damage – anything that’s uninsured or underinsured."

MacDonald says SBA experts can help businesses and non-profits repair physical losses caused by last month’s tornadoes and flash flooding. The professionals also help organizations assess economic damage and develop plans moving forward.

Come on in. Talk to the folks. They'll walk you through it. - John Brown, SBA District Director

Property owners have a finite window of time to apply for SBA loans. People can apply online, but district director John Brown says offices in Elk Point, Canton and Wessington Springs have staff specifically trained to assist people with the three-step loan process.

"Come on in. Talk to the folks. They’ll walk you through it. That's the key piece here," Brown says. "And, you know, you're going come in, you're going to find out what additional information you need that you're not bringing with you."

That’s why Brown encourages people to visit the help centers sooner rather than later. All three SBA sites close next week, but people can apply on their own before the September 12th deadline.

SBA workers are in Wessington Springs, Elk Point and Canton on different days. For the complete list of times and dates they’re open,visit this link to the SBA website.

Kealey Bultena grew up in South Dakota, where her grandparents took advantage of the state’s agriculture at nap time, tricking her into car rides to “go see cows.” Rarely did she stay awake long enough to see the livestock, but now she writes stories about the animals – and the legislature and education and much more. Kealey worked in television for four years while attending the University of South Dakota. She started interning with South Dakota Public Broadcasting in September 2010 and accepted a position with television in 2011. Now Kealey is the radio news producer stationed in Sioux Falls. As a multi-media journalist, Kealey prides herself on the diversity of the stories she tells and the impact her work has on people across the state. Kealey is always searching for new ideas. Let her know of a great story! Find her on Facebook and twitter (@KealeySDPB).