The clock is ticking on a financial lifeline from the federal government for New Jersey homeowners, renters, businesses and private nonprofits damaged physically by severe weather and flooding earlier this year.

Applications for disaster loan assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration must be filed by Oct. 21, in connection with heavy rains on June 19 and 20 that caused Gov. Phil Murphy to declare a state of emergency for Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties.

The declaration cleared the way for Murphy to apply for funds in the future, which is available in the form of low-interest loans that can be paid back over up to 30 years.

"For homeowners and renters the low interest rate is 1.938%," said Matthew Young, public affairs specialist for the SBA's disaster office in Atlanta. "These loans are meant to be made affordable so people can recover from the damages that they incurred."

As of the middle of last week, the SBA approved 25 loans related to the June weather event, including 19 in Camden County, and three each in Burlington and Gloucester counties. The approved loans totaled more than $769 million.

The declaration also includes the adjacent counties of Atlantic, Cumberland, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean and Salem.

Businesses and nonprofits have the opportunity to apply for up to $2 million to repair or replace assets. Homeowners or renters can apply for up to $40,000 for damaged personal property, including automobiles.

There's a separate deadline, May 20, 2020, for businesses that wish to file an Economic Injury Disaster application.

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