Governor Rick Snyder has requested a physical disaster declaration for Newaygo and Osceola counties from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that would pave the way for financial assistance for western Michigan residents and business owners impacted by severe storms and flooding.
If approved, the SBA disaster assistance program will make low-interest loans available to eligible residents and businesses affected by the severe storms and flooding that occurred in April. In addition to Newaygo and Osceola counties, the declaration would cover the neighboring counties of Clare, Kent, Lake, Mecosta, Missaukee, Montcalm, Muskegon, Oceana and Wexford.
The SBA disaster assistance program provides low-interest loans for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, inventory and business assets damaged or destroyed. The SBA tailors the repayment of each disaster loan to the borrower’s financial capability.
If the declaration is approved, temporary Disaster Loan Outreach Centers will be established in the impacted areas for one-on-one assistance. Loan applications will also be made available online or by mail.
Based on information provided by the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, state officials requested representatives of the SBA conduct a preliminary damage assessment of the affected areas to document physical property damage to homes and businesses that sustained at least 40 percent uninsured losses. This assessment was conducted from June 5-7.
Snyder declared a “state of disaster” on April 17 for Newaygo and Osceola counties due to severe weather and widespread flooding, making available state aid and assistance to communities in the disaster area. On May 7, the disaster declaration was amended to include Isabella, Mecosta, Missaukee, Muskegon, Roscommon and Wexford counties