It will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week, making it the third center in the area to open since Hurricane Sandy hit.
Andre Ledgister of the SBA said the new center was needed because the location in Coney Island was proving difficult to get to by some residents of Sheepshead Bay due to the immense devastation.
On it’s first day in operation on Thursday, Jan. 3, Ledgister said that residents filed into the facility to file their paperwork.
“The process only takes around 15 minutes,” he said.
An applicant will sit with a SBA representative, who will run a credit check, speak to their insurance company, and check their status with FEMA. Once the process is finished, the amount of the loan and interest rate will be determined.
And Ledgister noted that the SBA doesn’t just give loans to small business owners. The agency is awarding homeowners up to $200,000 in loans with an interest rate as low as 1.688 percent. Along with homeowners, SBA will also loan money to renters with a cap of $40,000.
Interest rates are based on an individual’s credit score.
Meanwhile, small business loans that can be as high as $2 million to repair or replace real state, inventory, machinery, and other physical losses. Interest rates for these loans are as low as 4 percent, while non-profits can borrow money at 3 percent.
But time is running out. Hurricane Sandy victims have until January 28 to register for federal disaster assistance.
Ledgister said that while city-run programs like Rapid Recovery are solutions to short-term problems, the SBA’s goal is to work on the big-picture items. These long-term loans are what will “get people back on their feet,” he said. “SBA is trying to make you whole again.”