WASHINGTON, D.C. – While there are no FEMA funds for people in southern Middle Tennessee whose homes or businesses were whacked by April 28, 2014, tornadoes, the U.S. Small Business Administration is offering extremely low-interest loans to help folks get back on their feet along the tornadoes’ paths, including Lincoln County, Tenn., as well as Limestone and Madison counties in Alabama.
The deadline for applications to help with physical property damage is July 21, 2014. Economic injury applications can be filed through Feb. 20, 2015. The low-interest loans are available to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes.
The SBA announcement released Wed., May 21, 2014, came in response to a letter from Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers the Tennessee counties of Lincoln, Bedford, Franklin, Giles, Marshall and Moore. The SBA loans are also available to people affected in the Alabama counties of Limestone and Madison.
“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Tennessee with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes with federal disaster loans,” said Administrator Contreras-Sweet. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”
Loans 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, according to Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.
“Businesses and non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets, according to the SBA Tennessee District Director Walter Perry III.
Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, to make improvements that help prevent the risk of future property damage caused by a similar disaster.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
Interest rates are: 2.188 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.625 percent for non-profit organizations, and 4 percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.SBA.gov/ela.
Individuals and businesses may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing DisasterCustomerService@SBA.gov. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.SBA.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
May 21, 2014