Ivey secures disaster relief for Elmore County tornado victims from federal Small Business Administration
More assistance from the Trump administration is now being made available to Alabamians affected by the severe weather and tornado that occurred in the River Region on January 19.
Governor Kay Ivey, along with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) Director Brian Hastings, announced Friday that businesses and residents affected can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the SBA.
SBA Administrator Linda McMahon made the loans available in response to a letter from Ivey on February 14, which requested a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Elmore County and the adjacent counties of Autauga, Chilton, Coosa, Macon, Montgomery and Tallapoosa.
“With the approval of my request for federal assistance, the Small Business Administration is providing a much needed opportunity for recovery funding to the citizens of Wetumpka,” Ivey said in a statement. “Many individuals and businesses will benefit greatly from the federal disaster loans that SBA offers as they continue to recover following the devastating tornado that heavily damaged parts of the community.”
McMahon advised that this type of disaster relief is the SBA’s “highest priority.”
“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Alabama with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans,” McMahon said. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”
This is the latest example of a strong working relationship between the respective administrations of Ivey and President Donald Trump.
“The approval of the Governor’s request for a Small Business Administration disaster declaration demonstrates the diverse partnerships that exist to provide assistance and an opportunity to eligible individuals in the City of Wetumpka, Elmore County, and the contiguous counties to create a better tomorrow,” Hastings outlined. “Long-term recovery is an arduous process and SBA has always played a strong role in helping our citizens in their time of need. We appreciate having them as part of the Emergency Management team.”
The governor’s office provided the following information regarding SBA relief:
SBA’s Customer Service Representatives will be available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.
The Center is located in the following community and is open as indicated:
Elmore County Commission
100 E. Commerce St.
Wetumpka, AL 36092
Opening: 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
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.
The SBA announcement came near the end of Alabama’s Severe Weather Awareness Week. The state is holding a sales tax holiday Friday, Saturday and Sunday for residents to stock up on preparedness supplies.
Find out more here.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn