Small Business Administration helps Westgate fire victims

Warwick, R.I. (WPRI) — One month ago, flames destroyed 38 units at the Wesgate Condo Complex. Officials with the Federal Disaster Relief Program are here in Rhode Island to help those who lost everything apply for loans to get back on their feet.

Janice Byrd, from the Small Business Administration’s Office of Disaster Assistance has been posted at the Warwick Public Library ready to help victims of the condo fire access another possible means for getting their lives back together.

Byrd did not say how many people have applied for the low interest loans through the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance, but she wants victims to know they can still apply even if they have insurance. “Even if you had insurance but not enough then SBA would try our very best to assist you with the damages that you sustained that the insurance company was not able to provide coverage for,” She said.

The program offers two options: physical damage for the items lost and economic injury.

Anyone picking the first option, physical damage, would need to submit an application by this June. Anyone who picked the second option, economic injury, would have until January of next year to apply.

Byrd said, “economic injury is for businesses only and that is for any loss of income that may have been sustained by owners of the properties that were damaged.”

She also said if victims question whether or not they need the assistance it is better to fill out an application. “We can process your loan and then you have the choice of accepting if we offer it to you,” She said.

The goal is to have the applications submitted so far processed and approved within the next three weeks.

Janice Byrd and the SBA will be at the Warwick Public Library to help with applications all weeks.

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