(BIVN) – Assistance for Hawaiʻi businesses and residents affected by Hurricane Lane is now available.
On November 27, the U.S. Small Business Administration opened a temporary Disaster Recovery Center in Hilo at the Hawaiʻi County Building. The center is set up right next to the mayor’s office.
“This morning we opened up to a Disaster Loan Outreach Center,” said Burl Kelton, a Public Information Officer for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Disaster Assistance. “We’ll be here till next Thursday, December 6., 8 [a.m.] to 4:30 [p.m.], Monday through Friday.”
“Even though we did do damage assessments we’re not really sure how many folks were affected but we’d like to invite them to either come in and sit down with us and fill out an application, or at least contact us,” Kelton said. “The request was made to FEMA, but FEMA elected not to participate – and in that case then the governor requests assistance from SBA – and we were glad to be able to come out and see if we could help out. The threshold of folks that were actually damaged by the fire and floods was enough that it qualified for us to come out and and make the assistance available.”
The assistance is available to businesses, individuals, homeowners and renters, Kelton said, for physical damage, economic injury and personal vehicles. “You do need to be a taxpayer,” he said. “It does need to be your primary home.”
Kelton also recommended residents call (800) 659-2955 for home assistance. “We’d like for folks to come out and find out more about it, find out if they’re eligible,” he said. “That really is the best thing to do because after the deadline we can’t go back, if someone decides that they needed more help than insurance, or needed more assistance than they thought they did.”