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Gov. appeals to SBA for tornado relief

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A disaster declaration for Hennepin County from the U.S. Small Business Administration could benefit victims of the tornado that hit north Minneapolis last spring.

The request by Gov. Mark Dayton Tuesday follows the denied appeal to FEMA for individual disaster assistance. The SBA provides low-interest, long term loans to help pay for storm-related damage.

Minnesota is pursuing alternate forms of disaster aid after the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied the state's appeal for assistance stemming from the tornado that hit Minneapolis May 22.

If the federal government grants the governor's request, businesses, homeowners, renters and property owners would be eligible to apply for the low-interest loans, said Doug Neville of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

"If they go ahead and grant this request, we'll make sure that we get information out to folks: how they can apply, how they can find out what they may be eligible for, and how the process would work for them," Neville said.

Once approved, the SBA loans could be distributed quickly.

"In these types of situations, they know usually that the FEMA individual assistance has been denied and they want to try to help get whatever resources available into the community as quick as possible," Neville said.