Nashville, TN -- The disaster recovery center in Jackson will transition this Wednesday to a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan assistance center, state and federal officials announced today.
The recovery center will close at 6 p.m. June 24 and reopen at 8 a.m. the next morning, June 25, as an SBA loan assistance center. The center, at 1668 North Parkway, will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturdays. It is intended to help the SBA handle the increasing flow of loan applications from people whose property was damaged by May's tornadoes, severe storms and flooding. To date, the SBA has issued more than 6,900 applications for low-interest disaster loans, and 544 loans totaling more than $16.9 million have been approved.
"Hopefully all homeowners, renters, landlords and business owners who were affected will take the time to come in and sit down with our staff so they can get first hand knowledge about what assistance may be available to them. The SBA center is a way of reaching out to fill that need," said SBA's Disaster Area Director, Michael C. Allen.
SBA staff will provide one-to-one program information to residents and businesses, help registered applicants fill out loan applications, and answer questions. The SBA provides low-interest loans to help homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and nonprofit organizations fund repairs and rebuilding efforts, and to help cover the cost of replacing lost or damaged personal property. FEMA staff will also be on hand to help applicants with the process. Filling out the loan application is a necessary step in receiving disaster assistance, even for those who do not take out a loan or qualify for one.
The deadline to apply for a loan for physical damage to homes or businesses is July 7. Small business owners can apply for economic injury disaster loans until February 6, 2004.
Residents who have registered for federal-state assistance are welcome to visit the recovery center until it closes. Staff can help to check the status of applications or answer questions. Residents with questions about their applications can also call the FEMA registration and Helpline, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or the TDD line, 1-800-462-7585, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday until further notice.
Recovery officials urge everyone who suffered uninsured damages or property losses to register for federal-state assistance at the toll-free numbers.