Representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration are currently available at the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management, Route 530, here, to assist residents and business owners affected by Superstorm Sandy.

“It’s important thSmall Business Administratonat our residents and business owners know this assistance is again available to them,” said Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety. “Citizens who continue to need assistance as a result of this storm may be able to find help through the SBA.”

SBA representatives are available at the county’s OEM from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Ocean County’s Office of Emergency Management is located in the Ocean County Airpark, off Route 530.

According to the SBA, On Dec. 2, 2015, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reopened the filing period for survivors in all states affected by Superstorm Sandy to apply for low-interest disaster loans.

The new filing deadline for physical damage and economic injury losses is Dec.  1, 2016.  The Recovery Improvements for Small Entities (RISE) After Disaster Act of 2015, which became law on Nov. 25, 2015, gives the SBA Administrator the authority to make disaster loans for Superstorm Sandy for a period of one year.  The bill authorizes SBA to revise the disaster deadline for major Presidential declarations for Superstorm Sandy in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.

“Many areas of Ocean County were devastated by the Superstorm that came to shore on Oct. 29, 2012,” said Ocean County Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy, who serves as coordinator for the Office of Emergency Management. “And, while many have rebuilt there are still many that continue to struggle in their efforts to return home.

“I am happy we can provide an environment where residents and business owners can come to meet with SBA representatives,” he said.

Businesses can benefit from SBA’s disaster loans for physical losses not covered by insurance, grants or other sources.  Additionally, businesses that are still struggling and need working capital should apply for a SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).  These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had Hurricane Sandy not occurred.  Homeowners may be eligible to apply to repair or replace disaster damaged real estate.  Homeowners and renters may be eligible to apply to repair or replace disaster damaged personal property.

SBA disaster business and home loans are available for Hurricane Sandy survivors for disaster- related uncompensated losses whether they previously applied or never applied. Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses, 3 percent for non-profit organizations, and 1.688 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years.  Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

New Jersey businesses and residents affected by the storm can get one-on-one assistance from SBA customer service representatives.

“Sandy survivors are encouraged to visit the centers to apply for SBA low-interest disaster loans,” Kelly said.

Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard of hearing) or by emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be returned to the centers or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

SBA centers also have been opened in Atlantic, Essex, Monmouth, Union, Bergen and Hudson counties.