Businesses and residents in South Jersey that were impacted by January's blizzard can now apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The loans became available in response to a letter from Gov. Chris Christie, who requested a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Ocean Counties.

In a press release, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said, “The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of New Jersey with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans. Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA."

SBA’s customer service representatives are available at a Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Room 129 of Atlantic City City Hall on Bacharach Blvd. to answer questions about the disaster loan program and to help individuals complete applications. The center is open weekdays from 8:00 to 4:30.

Businesses and non-profit organizations of any size can borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Applicants may apply online using the SBA's Electronic Loan Application. For more information, call 1-800-659-2955.