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SBA opens disaster loan center in Margate

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The U.S. Small Business Administration announced it is opening a disaster loan outreach center in Margate as the deadline nears to return loan applications for Hurricane Sandy-related damage.

The center, in Margate, will provide help to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes seeking disaster assistance for Sandy-related losses. It opened for business Tuesday at the Union Avenue School/Margate City Hall, at 9001 Winchester Ave. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This makes a total of 23 outreach centers open in New Jersey.

The filing deadline for homeowners, renters and businesses to return loan applications for property damage is March 1. The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 31.

"SBA's customer service representatives are on hand at the center to provide one-on-one assistance in completing their application," said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA Field Operations Center East, in prepared remarks announcing the center.

The amount approved so far for the entire state of New Jersey is $472 million, according to the SBA. Of the 2,454 applications received in Atlantic County, 537 have been approved for a total of $27.8 million. Ocean County has by far the highest dollar amount approved, totaling $249.9 million for 3,128 applications.

The state has been home to a number of efforts designed to expedite the claims process, including an effort by the Gov. Chris Christie administration to have a mobile cabinet available to answer questions and offer assistance.

Applicants also can fill out the form online using electronic applications at the SBA's secure website, https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

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