The federal government has made low-interest disaster relief loans available to Massachusetts residents and businesses affected by the winter storm and flooding that caused more than $23.8 million in damages March 2-3, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced Tuesday.
Businesses and private nonprofit organizations will be able to borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets, SBA’s Massachusetts District Director Robert Nelson said.
Loans of up to $200,000 will be made available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate as well. Loan interest rates can be as low as 3.58 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.813 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years, SBA said.
The SBA's declaration, following an April 30 letter from Gov. Charlie Baker, applies to businesses and nonprofits in Bristol, Mid dlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester counties, as well as Providence County in Rhode Island.
In his April 30 letter, in which he also sought a disaster declaration for six counties from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Baker said that more than 2,113 homes were damaged and 147 homes were either destroyed or suffered severe damage in the March 2-3 storm.
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Damage assessments conducted by FEMA and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency showed that costs for protective measures, debris clearance and repairing or replacing public infrastructure well exceeded the statewide threshold of $9.5 million required to seek assistance, according to Baker and MEMA.
If the president grant's Baker's request, it would allow FEMA to reimburse state and local governments for 75 percent of their eligible costs for emergency protective measures, debris clearance, and repairs to storm-damaged public infrastructure.