WASHINGTON — Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to businesses and residents in North Carolina and Tennessee following the announcement of a Presidential disaster declaration due to the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred on Aug. 16-18, 2021.
“We’re committed to providing federal disaster loans swiftly and efficiently, with a customer-centric approach to help businesses and communities recover and rebuild,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman.
The disaster declaration covers Buncombe, Haywood, and Transylvania counties in North Carolina, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Rutherford, Swain and Yancey in North Carolina; Greenville, Oconee and Pickens in South Carolina and Cocke and Sevier in Tennessee.
Homeowners and renters may meet with an SBA customer service representative at any FEMA Disaster Recovery Center to get answers to their questions and assistance in applying for a disaster loan. Business owners unable to go to a Business Recovery Center may also visit SBA at the FEMA Centers.
Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20% of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a sump pump, elevation, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
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.
Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed personal property.
Interest rates are as low as 2.855% for businesses, 2% for nonprofit organizations and 1.563% 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 https://disasterloan assistance.sba.gov/ela/s/, and should apply under SBA declaration #17155, not for the COVID-19 incident.
To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at Disaster Assistance.gov or download the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.
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 emailing Disaster CustomerService@sba.gov. Loan applications can also be downloaded at 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 Nov. 8, 2021. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 8, 2022.