Sunday, March 1, 2009

SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Georgia Residents Affected by Severe Storms and Tornadoes

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Georgia residents and businesses affected by severe storms and tornadoes that occurred on February 20, 2009 can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Acting Administrator Darryl Hairston announced today.

Acting Administrator Hairston made the loans available in response to a letter from Governor Sonny Perdue on February 23, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Thomas County and the adjacent counties of Brooks, Colquitt, Grady and Mitchell in Georgia, and Jefferson and Leon counties in Florida.

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Georgia with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes with federal disaster loans,” said Hairston. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

“Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property,” said Frank Skaggs, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center in Atlanta. SBA’s customer service representatives will be on hand at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to issue loan applications, answer questions about the SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help individuals complete their applications.

The Center will be located in the following community and will open as indicated:

Thomas County
Emergency Services Center
1202 Remington Avenue
Thomasville, Georgia 31792

Tuesday, March 3

Open weekdays:
Tuesday, March 3 through Thursday, March 12, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 7, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Thursday, March 12, at the close of business

Terri Denison, SBA’s Georgia District Director, added, “Low-interest Federal disaster loans are available to homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profit organizations of all sizes whose property was damaged or destroyed by the severe storms and tornadoes.”

Businesses and non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. The SBA also provides mitigation funds to disaster victims based on 20 percent of the verified physical damage. These funds are designed to help borrowers pay for protective measures to minimize damages of the same kind in the future.

For small businesses, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Interest rates are as low as 2.187% percent for homeowners and renters, and 4 percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Individuals and businesses unable to visit the Center in person may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST, or by sending an email to Business loan applications can also be downloaded from the SBA website at 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, TX. 76155.

Victims may apply for disaster loans from SBA’s secure website at

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is April 27, 2009. The deadline to return economic injury applications is November 26, 2009.

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