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Small Business Administration approves individual disaster assistance loans after Hurricane Michael

Chip Brownlee

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Individuals in six Alabama counties affected by Hurricane Michael in October can now apply for individual assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced the new assistance Wednesday..

SBA Administrator Linda McMahon made the loans available in response to a letter Ivey on Nov. 16. Ivey had requested a disaster declaration by the SBA.

Individuals in Geneva and Houston Counties, and the adjacent counties of Coffee, Covington, Dale and Henry, in Alabama, will be able to pursue the loans for individual assistance.

Holmes, Jackson and Walton counties in Florida, and Early and Seminole counties in Georgia, also apply.

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Alabama with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans,” McMahon said. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

Ivey said she appreciates the Small Business Administration for approving her request for assistance for communities in the Wiregrass affected by Hurricane Michael.

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“We know that there are many individuals and businesses that will benefit from the federal disaster loans that SBA offers as they try to recover from this disaster,” Ivey said. “I encourage those in eligible counties to take advantage of this considerate assistance.”

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SBA’s Customer Service Representatives will be available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Centers to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.

  • Geneva County: Slocomb Volunteer Fire Department. Opens Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 11 a.m. Open Money–Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closes Dec. 8 at 2 p.m.
  • Houston County: Gordon Senior Citizens Building. Opens Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 11 a.m.. Open Monday–Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to noon. Closes Dec. 8 at noon.

“Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets,” said SBA’s Alabama District Director Tom Todt.

The SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations.

Economic Injury Disaster loans are available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

“Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate,” said Kem Fleming, center director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta. “Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.”

Interest rates are as low as 3.675 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 2 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years.

The SBA sets loan amounts and terms based on the applicants’ financial condition.

“We are so appreciative of the SBA approving the Governor’s request to assist communities ravaged by Hurricane Michael. SBA assistance will provide an option for individuals to repair damage to their homes and businesses caused by the storm,” said Alabama EMA Director Brian Hastings. “Those who received damaged from Hurricane Michael or have questions about SBA assistance in the declared counties should contact the SBA or stop by the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to inquire about assistance.”

The loan amount increase can be up to 20 percent of the physical damages as verified by the SBA. Loans can also be used for eligible mitigation improvements like safe rooms or storm shelters to protect property and residents from future storms.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.

Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing [email protected]

Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be returned to the centers or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Jan. 22, 2019.

The deadline to return economic injury applications is Aug. 20, 2019.

 

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