Jackson, MS -- Disaster applicants who suffered damage from the April 6th though 25th severe storms, tornadoes and flooding who receive a loan application from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) should take the time to fill it out - even if they don't want a loan - urged disaster recovery officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
Many of the applicants who call the toll-free application line, 1-800-621-3362, and apply for assistance will receive a SBA loan application within seven to ten days of making the call.
"The loan application provides necessary information for determining the appropriate assistance for that applicant, but the applicant must mail the application back first. If the SBA decides not to offer a loan, the individual is then automatically referred to other available disaster assistance," Carlos Mitchell, the FEMA official in charge of disaster recovery, said.
Government disaster assistance only covers basic needs and will not normally compensate applicants for their entire loss. If you have insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under your insurance policy. Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other forms of help may come in the form of low-interest loans.
These low-interest disaster loans are available to residents and businesses of all sizes in the declared counties that were affected by the April 6th through 25th severe storms, tornadoes and flooding. Interest rates on SBA loans can be as low as 2.812 percent for homeowners and 2.953 percent for businesses. Actual loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition.
"We are urging everyone who sustained losses because of the severe weather April 6th though 25th, to apply for assistance and mail in the completed loan application as soon as possible," added Leon Shaifer, MEMA's state coordinating officer in charge of long-term recovery.
People who have questions about their application or who want to apply for disaster assistance should call FEMA's toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with speech or hearing impairment should call TTY 1-800-462-7585.
Information on SBA loan applications is also available by calling the SBA Helpline at 1-800-359-2227.
The 30 Mississippi counties declared a disaster by President Bush on April 24th are: Amite, Attala, Claiborne, Clarke, Copiah, Franklin, Hinds, Holmes, Issaquena, Jasper, Jefferson, Kemper, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Leake, Lincoln, Madison, Marion, Neshoba, Newton, Pearl River, Pike, Rankin, Scott, Simpson, Smith, Walthall, Warren, Wayne and Yazoo.