Small Business Administration loans to tornado victims thus far total $2,291,500, an SBA spokeswoman said Monday.
For homeowners and renters, so far, the SBA has approved 51 loans, with at least 316 loan applications still being processed, said Matthew Young, an SBA spokesman.
Spokespeople for the SBA declined to say whether that number could be considered low or high for a natural disaster of this scope.
More than 15 confirmed tornadoes struck the Dayton region and parts of West Central Ohio late on the evening of Memorial Day, destroying or seriously damaging 2,200 structures in Montgomery County alone, according to data provided late last month by Montgomery County.
In Trotwood, 1,144 structures — most of them homes — where left unusable. In Harrison Twp., 774 residential and commercial structures were either destroyed or sustained major damage.
“We try not to compare disasters because they’re all different,” Young said. “And they’re all so different, because they affect different areas, they affect different economic groups of people, depending on where they hit. Some are bigger, some are smaller.”
“Our main message is: We want to encourage those people who have not yet submitted those applications to get them into us,” Young added. “We can’t do anything to help or assist anybody until we get that application.”
“We just want people to apply, apply, apply,” said Julie Garrett, an SBA spokeswoman working in the Dayton area since June.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) received 2,758 registrations for tornado damage assistance as of late June from a 10-county disaster area.
Most of those — 2,352, or about 85 percent — were submitted by Montgomery County survivors, FEMA said.
Asked how busy local SBA business recovery centers are, Garrett said, “We would like them to be busier.”
It’s possible some residents are applying online or others believe they simply don’t need to apply for SBA assistance because their property is insured. And some may not understand that private homes can receive SBA assistance.
SBA loans cover residential and business fencing, decks, driveways, landscaping, debris removal, sheds and more. These are things most insurance policies do not cover, Garrett said.
“That’s what I’m worried about, that people don’t get that,” she said.
SBA’s Business Recovery Centers are offices where anyone can apply for an SBA disaster loan, including homeowners and renters.
Locally, SBA offices can be found at the Beavercreek Chamber of Commerce, 3210 Beaver Vu Drive, and the Harrison Township Community Center, 5945 N. Dixie Drive, Dayton. Both centers are open weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The first thing people need to do is register with FEMA. That’s how affected residents start the whole process, Young said.
The deadline to apply is Aug. 19. “It’ll be here before we know it,” Young said. “And we don’t want to leave anybody out who might need assistance in their recovery.”
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