April 10, 2015
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Low Interest Loans to Residents and Businesses Impacted By Jay Street Fire in Schenectady

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Governor Asked U.S. Small Business Administration to Take Immediate Action on Securing Loans

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the U.S. Small Business Administration has granted his request for a Physical Disaster Declaration for Schenectady County and the contiguous counties of Albany, Montgomery, Saratoga, and Schoharie following the March 6, 2015 fire which began at 104 Jay Street and quickly spread to 100-102 Jay St. in the City of Schenectady. Governor Cuomo requested that these loans be made available in a letter to the Small Business Administration on March 27.

"With business owners and residents still trying to rebuild after this devastating fire, they can be assured that help is on the way," Governor Cuomo said. "I urge anyone affected by this situation to attend the Disaster Loan Outreach Center and see what options are available."

These loans are often helpful when eligible homeowners, renters, businesses, and others need financial support following emergencies or weather-related disasters. In the case of the Jay St. fire, the following groups may be eligible for help from U.S. Small Business Administration loans for the following:

  • Homeowners: up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate
  • Homeowners and renters: up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property
  • Business owners: up to $2 million for the replacement of real estate, inventories, machinery, equipment, and other physical losses
  • Businesses and non-profits: Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to provide necessary working capital until normal operations resume after a disaster

New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner John Melville said, “Large fires such as this can be devastating to not only homeowners and renters, but to the communities surrounding them. The financial support of the SBA is an important avenue of assistance that may be available to Jay St. residents and businesses as they work to rebuild their lives. I am very pleased that the SBA has approved Governor Cuomo’s request for assistance.”

The Small Business Administration will open a Disaster Loan Outreach Center at Schenectady City Hall located at 105 Jay Street, Room 14. Representatives will be available to assist with the application process. The center will be open from Tuesday, April 14 until Thursday, April 23. Weekday hours will be 9:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., and hours on Saturday, April 18th will be 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The center will be closed on Sunday, April 19. No appointments are necessary—people are seen on a walk-in basis only.

Interest rates can be as low as 1.813 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.625 percent for non-profit organizations, and 4 percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the Small Business Administration and are based on each applicant's financial condition.

Senator Hugh Farley said, “I appreciate the efforts of Governor Cuomo and the Small Business Administration in providing this much-needed assistance to the individuals and businesses who were negatively affected by this devastating fire. It is important that we do whatever we can to help them recover from this tragedy and help strengthen the community.”

Assemblymember Angelo Santabarbara said, “It is critical that our community has the tools to rebuild in the wake of the devastating Jay Street fire. We have seen the generosity of our residents and local businesses in the wake of this tragedy and I’m proud to say the federal government has approved our state’s request for financial support to continue the ongoing recovery efforts.”

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said, “Since the fire, we have been working closely with the Small Business Administration and New York State Division of Homeland Security to ensure that these loans were made available to those affected. We are thankful for the assistance this declaration will provide for the residents and businesses.”

Individuals and businesses may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via the secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Individuals and businesses may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the Small Business Administration's Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing [email protected]. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is June 8, 2015. The deadline to return economic injury applications is January 11, 2016. 

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Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office

NYC Press Office:  212.681.4640

Albany Press Office:  518.474.8418