Victims of Wetumpka Tornado Can Get Federal Loans
Alabama businesses and residents affected by severe weather and a tornado on Jan. 19 can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Administrator Linda McMahon has announced.
A tornado hit near downtown Wetumpka that day, causing extensive damage but no loss of life.
Gov. Kay Ivey had asked for a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Elmore County and the adjacent counties of Autauga, Chilton, Coosa, Macon, Montgomery and Tallapoosa.
The SBA has set up a Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.
The Center is located at the Elmore County Commission office at 100 E. Commerce St. in Wetumpka. It will open Saturday, Feb. 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closed: Sunday, Feb. 24 Closes: Saturday, March 2 at 2 p.m.
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.
“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 Kem Fleming, center director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.
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 include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
Interest rates are as low as 3.74 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 2 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amount and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.
Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing email@example.com. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov. 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.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is April 22, 2019. The deadline to return economic injury applications is November 21, 2019.