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February 17, 2005

Gov. Blagojevich requests Small Business Administration disaster declaration for flood damage in Iroquois County
SBA Loan program could help with uninsured loss at homes and businesses in Iroquois and adjacent counties

SPRINGFIELD Based on an assessment of damage to homes and businesses caused by last month’s flooding, Gov. Rod Blagojevich is requesting that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issue a disaster declaration for Iroquois County.
“Flooding is a big enough problem by itself, but when the flood waters freeze – like they did last month in Iroquois County – it causes even more damage to homes and businesses in its path,” said Gov. Blagojevich.  “While the damage assessment conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the SBA determined there wasn’t enough damage to qualify for a FEMA disaster declaration, an SBA disaster declaration would be a tremendous help by providing low-interest loans to help these people get back on their feet.”
The Preliminary Damage Assessment conducted last week found more than 25 homes or businesses in Watseka, in Iroquois County, had sustained a 40 percent uninsured loss based on fair market value or replacement cost. 
If approved by the SBA, homeowners, renters and business owners in Iroquois and adjacent counties who suffered damage from the floods would be eligible to apply for low-interest loans to cover the cost of physical damage to their homes, personal property or businesses.
“When floods occur in January, the cold can cause unique problems such as what we saw in Watseka,” said William C. Burke, IEMA director.  “We hope that the SBA recognizes the hardships caused by this event and make the low-interest loans available.”


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