CLINTON, Miss. -- For many Mississippians recovering from the tornadoes and related flooding from April 15 - 28, a completed U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loan application is as essential to recovery as a mop.
Federal grants are just one form of disaster assistance available to those living and working in the 29 Mississippi counties recovering from the April storms. Those counties currently designated as disaster areas for Individual Assistance are Alcorn, Attala, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clarke, Clay, Coahoma, DeSoto, Greene, Grenada, Hinds, Holmes, Jasper, Kemper, Lafayette, Leflore, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Neshoba, Newton, Panola, Quitman, Smith, Sunflower, Tishomingo, Tunica, Webster, and Winston.
Most of the money for repairs and replacement of flood-damaged real estate and personal property comes in the form of low-interest SBA disaster loans. Just as important, a completed SBA loan application is a critical component to be considered for some disaster-related grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Homeowners, renters, non-profit organizations and businesses of all sizes can apply for SBA loans to pay for recovery costs not covered by insurance or other sources. People with home-based businesses or rental property who have been affected by the storms may also be eligible for SBA loans.
Homeowners can borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters can borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property.
Business owners can borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA also provides small business owners access to Economic Injury Loans that provide money for ongoing businesses expenses to recover from the adverse economic impact of a disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available even if the businesses didn't sustain physical damages.
Loan amounts and terms are determined on a case-by-case basis. Interest rates as low as 2.563 percent for homeowners and renters, as low as 4 percent for businesses and as low as 3 percent for non-profit organizations, coupled with payment terms as long as 30 years are intended to make the loans affordable.
Applicants who receive SBA loan applications must complete and return them to be considered for FEMA grants that cover personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses. No one is obligated to accept a loan.
Before applying for a SBA loan, register with FEMA by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 800-462-7585 for the speech-or hearing-impaired. The toll-free numbers are staffed every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Online registration is also available at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
SBA representatives at MEMA-FEMA disaster recovery centers will assist in completing your loan application, accept your loan application and answer any of your questions. Questions can also be answered by calling the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET. Help is also available by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or applications can be downloaded from www.sba.gov.
Survivors may visit SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ to apply for disaster loans.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical damage is June 28, 2011. The deadline to return economic injury applications is January 30, 2012.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build,...