GITA UPDATE: US SBA approves more than $1Mil in loans - so far

reporters@samoanews.com

Pago Pago, AEMRICAN SAMOA — The US Small Business Administration has approved more than $1 million in federal disaster loans to businesses and residents impacted by Tropical Storm Gita, while more villages are up for registration throughout the rest of this week at the Disaster Recovery Center, which is operated jointly by the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and ASG.

SBA ASSISTANCE

As of Tuesday this week, the SBA has approved more than $1.1 million in disaster loans with $101,700 for businesses and just over $1.06 million for residents. This is according to Tanya N. Garfield, director of the SBA Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

Garfield noted that SBA’s disaster assistance employees are committed to helping businesses and residents rebuild as quickly as possible following a disaster. She encourages businesses and residents who sustained damages from the storm to register prior to the May 1, 2018 deadline with FEMA at www.disasterassistance.gov

Registration can also be done at the DRC, located inside the DYWA Pago Pago Youth Center, where SBA continues to provide one-on-one assistance for disaster loan applicants. The DRC is open Monday-Saturday, 8a.m to 4p.m.

SBA has emphasized from the beginning that registration with FEMA at the DRC, is a very important first step in disaster recovery assistance and if the needs cannot be met through FEMA, the person can be referred to SBA for small low interest disaster loans. (See Samoa News Mar. 14th edition for details on the various disaster loans.)

Additional information on disaster assistance can be found at <disasterloan.sba.gov>

DRC REGISTRATION

In a joint statement yesterday, FEMA and ASG announced the additional villages up for registration at the DRC today up to Saturday:

•     Thursday, Apr. 12: pre-registered residents from Aua, Alega and Avaio.

•     Friday, Apr. 13: pre-registered residents from Lauli’i, Afono and Auto.

•     Saturday, Apr. 14: Make-up day for Mapusaga, Tafeta, Taputimu, Leone, Fagasa, Vatia, Aumi, Aua, Alega, Avaio, Lauli’i, Afono, and Auto.

GITA HELPLINE

FEMA said yesterday that if a person who has registered for federal assistance needs answers about their registration or an update on their file, they can call 699-2018. If you need to speak with someone in the Samoan language, visit the DRC.

According to FEMA, information given on the Gita helpline is the same you will get at the DRC. If you speak English, this gives you the choice to make a telephone call instead of visiting the DRC.

Meanwhile, FEMA said Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) teams are available through Monday, Apr. 16 to help register heads of household with access and functional needs.

Call the Crisis Hotline at 633-9017 to request a home visit. After April 16th, DSA teams will not be available to make home visits.

Anyone who already has a slip with DSA written on it is already registered.

 

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