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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 23, 1995
                           PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES

The President today made available $125 million in emergency funds for disaster loans to help the U.S. Virgin Islands recover from Hurricane Marilyn and affected States recover from Hurricane Opal.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) will use the money to address the extensive, widespread residential and commercial damage due to the two hurricanes. These funds will support over $350 million in additional loans to assist these areas. Current SBA funds for disaster loans are not expected to cover the costs of SBA disaster recovery efforts in the Virgin Islands and the affected States.

SBA's disaster loans are the primary form of Federal assistance for nonfarm, private sector disaster losses. SBA can provide long term, low interest loans to cover those losses not covered by insurance. SBA disaster loans are available to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and nonprofit organizations to help pay for the cost of rebuilding. The program is also a critical source of economic stimulation in disaster-ravaged communities, helping to spur employment and stabilize the tax base.

The Congress appropriated, in fiscal year 1995, the funds that the President made available today. The Congress made their availability contingent upon the President's notification that they are needed for an emergency requirement, under the provisions of the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990.

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