Gov. Kay Ivey announced Friday that Alabama businesses and residents affected by severe weather and a tornado on Jan. 19 can apply this week in Wetumpka for low-interest disaster loans from the Small Business Administration.
SBA administrator Linda McMahon made the loans available in response to a letter from Ivey on Feb. 14 requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA covering Elmore, Autauga, Chilton, Coosa, Macon, Montgomery and Tallapoosa counties.
“With the approval of my request for federal assistance, the Small Business Administration is providing a much-needed opportunity for recovery funding to the citizens of Wetumpka,” Ivey said. “Many individuals and businesses will benefit greatly from the federal disaster loans that SBA offers as they continue to recover following the devastating tornado that heavily damaged parts of the community.”
SBA’s Customer Service Representatives will be available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is April 22 and the deadline to return economic injury applications is Nov. 21.
Those who want to apply for assistance can go to the center at the Elmore County Commission office on 100 East Commerce St. in Wetumpka Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The office will close on March 2 at 2 p.m.
Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.
Interest rates are as low as 3.74 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 2 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and based on each applicant’s financial condition.
“Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA,” McMahon said.
Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, and homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property, according to Kem Fleming, the center director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.
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.
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.
“The approval of the governor’s request for a Small Business Administration disaster declaration demonstrates the diverse partnerships that exist to provide assistance and an opportunity to eligible individuals in the city of Wetumpka, Elmore County and the contiguous counties to create a better tomorrow,” Alabama Emergency Management director Brian Hastings said. “Long-term recovery is an arduous process and SBA has always played a strong role in helping our citizens in their time of need.”
Applicants may apply for assistance 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 email@example.com.
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, Texas, 76155.