SBA disaster assistance for businesses, residents expands
ATLANTA — The U.S. Small Business Administration has added more counties to the disaster declaration in Georgia affected by severe storms, tornadoes, high winds and flooding on Jan. 21-22.
The disaster declaration covers the counties of Berrien, Cook, Crisp, Dougherty, Thomas, Turner, Wilcox, and Worth in Georgia 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: Atkinson, Baker, Ben Hill, Brooks, Calhoun, Coffee, Colquitt, Dodge, Dooly, Grady, Irwin, Lanier, Lee, Lowndes, Mitchell, Pulaski, Sumter, Telfair, Terrell, and Tift in Georgia; Jefferson and Leon counties in Florida.
Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.
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 up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property.
Interest rates are as low as 3.125 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.5 percent 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 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 now include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.