Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is asking the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster assistance for people living in Iroquois and Grundy Counties affected by summer weather activity. If approved the SBA disaster declaration would enable citizens and businesses in those counties to apply for low-interest, long-term loans.
And people and businesses in contiguous counties, including Kankakee and Vermilion County, would also be eligible for assistance.
Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared Iroquois, Kankakee, Grundy, Vermilion, Champaign and 83 other counties a federal disaster area. It has allowed farmers to seek assistance because of the damage that occurred with summer floods.
Governor Rauner's Office says assessments found a total of 297 homes in seven Illinois counties were destroyed or sustained major damage from several storms over a six week period. About 1,400 other homes sustained less severe damage during the same time period. A high percentage of the damaged homes had insurance.
Federal, state and local officials from 23 counties also met to document storm-related expenses incurred by local governments to determine if the state and affected counties could meet thresholds for federal assistance. That federal threshold was not met.
''If approved, the SBA assistance could be a tremendous help to many people who are working to repair or replace their homes or businesses,'' says Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director James Joseph.