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DRC transitions to Loan Outreach Center on Monday

Local government staff, including Fa’aui Fano Lefotu, prepared a farewell luncheon Wednesday afternoon for US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials, as the Disaster Recovery Center, located inside the DYWA Pago Pago Youth Center, officially closes tomorrow.  Pictured are two FEMA officials, with local staffers, cutting the cake — which read “Thank You FEMA.” Local government officials, who assisted FEMA officials with translations and other duties prepared the delicious cake. [photo: Leua Aio
compiled by Samoa News staff

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — SBA and FEMA remind the public that the Disaster Recovery Center located inside the DYWA Pago Pago Youth Center closes tomorrow, Saturday, and transitions into the SBA’s Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC), starting next Monday, May 21.

As the DRC nears closing, local government employees working at the center, hosted a farewell yesterday for FEMA reps, and the celebration included a cake that read: “Thank You FEMA”. Most of the local staffers at the DRC are Samoan interpreters.

After May 19, FEMA applicants may still get help by contacting: Helpline 699-2018; and online at

According to SBA, the DLOC will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. It will be closed on Monday, May 28th in observance of Memorial Day.

“At this stage of the recovery process, the emphasis for assistance is to meet the long-term needs of businesses and individuals that were impacted by Tropical Storm Gita,” said SBA’s Director Tanya N. Garfield of the SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

She said the transition of the DRC to an outreach center will better meet the current needs of American Samoa residents.

Garfield pointed out that although the deadline to apply for property damage loans has expired, small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may continue to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.

“Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the business or nonprofit organization suffered any property damage,” she said in an SBA statement yesterday.

“SBA customer service representatives will continue to answer questions, explain the application process, help small businesses apply for economic injury disaster loans and close their approved disaster loans” at the DLOC, she said, adding that no appointment is necessary.

The loan interest rate is 3.58% for businesses and 2.5% for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years. The deadline to submit an Economic Injury Disaster Loan application is Dec. 3, 2018.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at