FEMA and Small Business Administration open center to help flood victims

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A month after the devastating floods that ravaged Park County and southern Montana, FEMA and the US Small Business Administration opened a center in Livingston to help victims of the June flood.

“It gets so overwhelming that we work on it in our spare time,” says Chris Bendan, owner of Last Stand Fireworks.

For Bendan, it’s been a long road to recovery after his fireworks stand was flooded last month.

“I’m still working, so I’m trying to take this process one step at a time because it’s going to take months,” Bendan says.

Bendan came to check on help for his business as the recovery process progresses.

FEMA and the Small Business Administration are helping homeowners and business owners who have been directly affected in Park, Carbon and Stillwater counties.

Counties that have been indirectly affected by economic harm also qualify; these counties include Big Horn, Gallatin, Golden Valley, Meagher, Sweet Grass and Yellowstone.

“For business owners, we can go up to $2 million, and that includes both physical damage to property, any merchandise lost due to flooding, but also disaster loans. for economic harm are included in that $2 million,” says Small. Business Administration Public Information Officer Rick Tillery.

They are encouraging anyone who has been affected by the floods to come forward and ask for help.

“You won’t know what you might be eligible for until you enter or apply online,” says Thomas Kempton, FEMA’s public information officer.

According to FEMA, she had already distributed $897,000 as of July 12.

The aim is to facilitate the application for funding. To apply, they ask for a social security number, address, phone number, household income, bank account information, and description of losses.

“When funds come out often, it’s direct deposits that go directly to the bank, so people don’t have to come. It’s a direct deposit if they get that,” says Kempton.

The deadline to apply for bodily injury assistance is August 29. The deadline for economic harm is March 30, 2023.

As for Bendan, he counts on help not only from the federal government and his community.

“Once you got over the fact that life wasn’t stopping and we were going to move on and opened up, it was very positive,” Bendan says.

There is state unemployment disaster relief that provides up to 26 weeks of assistance to those working in non-traditional industries like tourism.

“For those affected by the floods, whether a small business or a private homeowner, floodrecovery.mt.gov is a one-stop-shop for all resources. Or they can go through one of these centers in Livingston, Red Lodge or Fromberg to request this assistance,” Governor Greg Gianforte says.

The three ways to seek help through FEMA are over the phone by calling 1-800-621-3362, in person at Park High School in Livingston, or online at assistancecatastrophe.gov

The state number for unemployment assistance is 406-444-3454.

The state website for flood recovery information is floodrecovery.mt.gov

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