WASHINGTON – Alabama businesses and residents affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding from Feb. 19 through March 20, 2019 can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Acting Administrator Christopher Pilkerton announced today.
Acting Administrator Pilkerton made the loans available in response to a letter from the Alabama Governor’s Authorized Representative, Brian E. Hastings on May 1, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Cherokee County and the adjacent counties of Calhoun, Cleburne, DeKalb and Etowah in Alabama; Chattooga, Floyd and Polk in Georgia.
“In recent months, Alabama has endured a variety of storm systems, which has taken a toll on the people of our state. With the approval of our request for federal assistance, the Small Business Administration is allowing our citizens to continue moving forward on the road to recovery” said Governor Ivey.
“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,” said Pilkerton. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”
“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.
“We appreciate the opportunity to work with our federal partners to ease suffering and provide assistance to our citizens when disaster strikes” said Brian Hastings, Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director. “We continue to encourage Alabamians that insurance and financial literacy are critical components of individual preparedness and community resilience. Please use Hurricane Preparedness Week to identify your risks and take appropriate steps to increase your preparedness and strengthen your resiliency as we approach Hurricane season.”
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is 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. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property,” said Kem Fleming, center director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.
Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 2.063 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amount 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 (ELA) via 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov. 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.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is July 8, 2019. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Feb. 7, 2020.