Disaster Area Declared; Assistance Available In Alabama And Florida

December 31, 2009


A disaster area declaration by the U.S. Small Business Administration following December’s floods is making federal assistance available to seven counties in Alabama and Florida.

The declaration covers Escambia County (Ala.) and the adjacent counties of Baldwin, Conecuh, Covington and Monroe in Alabama; and the counties of Escambia, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa in Florida.

sbafact.jpgAssistance in the form of low interest loans is available to homeowners, renters and businesses that were affected by the flooding between December 12 and December 18. 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. Businesses and non-profit organizations can 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 up to 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.

flomaton-flooding-019.jpgInterest rates are as low as 2.562 percent for homeowners and renters, four percent for businesses and three percent for non-profit organizations with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people affected by these storms and floods with the most effective and customer-focused response possible, to assist homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes with federal disaster loans,” said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority.”

Disaster Loan Outreach Centers will be opened as follows:

  • Atmore Public Library: Tuesday, January 5 – Friday, January 8 from 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday, January 9 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Escambia County Courthouse, Brewton: Monday, January 11 and Tuesday, January 12 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Individuals and businesses unable to visit one of the centers 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 6 p.m. EST, or by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Business loan applications can also be downloaded from the SBA Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance. Completed applications should be returned to one of the Centers or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

For more information, click here for a SBA fact sheet.

NorthEscambia.com file photos, click to enlarge.


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