(CBS DETROIT) — The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) granted an administrative disaster declaration for Otsego County after a deadly tornado in May, also after the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied the state’s request for a major disaster declaration.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Wednesday that the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Program provides low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and private nonprofit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, inventory and damaged or destroyed business assets. .
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The statement includes Otsego County and all adjacent counties such as Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Crawford, Kalkaska, Montmorency and Oscoda.
“The SBA is firmly committed to providing the people of Michigan with the most efficient and customer-focused response possible to help businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman in a press release.. “Getting businesses and communities back up and running after a disaster is our top priority at SBA.”
Whitmer declared a state of emergency following the May 20 EF-3 tornado in the Gaylord area.
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Two people were killed and more than 40 others were injured in the disaster, destroying homes and businesses and causing millions of dollars in property damage.
On June 8, Whitmer asked President Joe Biden to declare a major disaster in the county. However, that request was denied July 2 by FEMA, the governor said Wednesday.
Whitmer says she sent a letter to the SBA on July 8.
“This statement is an important step in gaining the necessary support and resources for the Gaylord community,” Whitmer said in a press release. “It is clear that this tornado has had devastating effects in Otsego County. These loans will allow people and businesses to begin rebuilding and ensure the community continues to move forward.
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