Attala County businesses and residents affected by the severe storms, straight-line winds and tornadoes in March can now apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration
SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced Tuesday that she made the loans available to Mississippi residents affected by March 22 storm after receiving a letter from Gov. Tate Reeves on July 18 requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Holmes County and the adjacent counties of Attala, Carroll, Humphreys, Leflore, Madison and Yazoo.
A Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Durant will open at 9 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 4. The center will be located at Durant Missionary Baptist Church, 16455 N. Jackson St., Durant.
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Hours of operation will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The center will permanently close at 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18.
“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Mississippi with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans,” said Guzman. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”
Customer Service Representatives will be available at the center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the SBA has established protocols to help protect the health and safety of the public. All visitors to the center are encouraged to wear a face mask.
“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 Mississippi District Director Janita Stewart.
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, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.
Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase of up to 20% 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 2.94% for businesses, 1.875% for nonprofit organizations, and 1.438% for homeowners and renters, 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 (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov/ela/s and should apply under SBA declaration # 17539.
Disaster loan information and application forms can also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (if you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services) or sending an email to DisasterCustomerServive@sba.gov. Loan applications can also be downloaded from sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be 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 Sept. 30. The deadline to return economic injury applications is May 1, 2023.