A request from Governor Rick Snyder to the U.S. Small Business Administration may lead to financial assistance for local residents and businesses affected by recent flooding.

Snyder made the request Tuesday, asking the SBA to conduct damage assessments for eight Lower Peninsula counties to pave the way for a physical and economic disaster declaration. Based on information provided by Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and the Homeland Security Division, state officials requested representatives of the SBA conduct a preliminary damage assessment of the affected areas to document physical property damage to homes and businesses that sustained at least 40 percent uninsured losses.

In addition to Arenac, Barry, Berrien, Ingham, Kalamazoo, Kent, Newaygo and St. Joseph, the declaration would cover neighboring counties, include Livingston. The declaration would provide additional financial assistance to those recovering from damage done by widespread flooding that resulted from heavy rainfall and snow melt February 19th through the 21st.

If approved, the SBA disaster assistance program would offer low-interest loans to eligible residents and businesses, tailoring the repayment of each disaster loan to the borrower’s financial capability. Temporary Disaster Loan Outreach Centers may be established in the impacted areas for one-on-one assistance and loan applications will be made available online or by mail.

Snyder declared a state of disaster on Monday for 17 counties and two cities due to flood damage, making state aid and financial assistance available to communities in the disaster area.