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Disaster loans available to storm victims

NORTH MISSISSIPPI — Aid from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is available following the announcement of the presidential disaster declaration in Mississippi for several counties affected by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred May 1–2.

The disaster declaration covers Alcorn, Benton, Lafayette, Tippah and Tishomingo counties in Mississippi, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private non-profit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Calhoun, Itawamba, Marshall, Panola, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Tate, Union and Yalobusha.

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.

Businesses and private non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. The SBA may increase a loan up to 20 percent of the total amount of disaster damage to real estate and/or leasehold improvements, as verified by SBA, to make improvements that lessen the risk of property damage by future disasters of the same kind.

For small businesses and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes, 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.

Interest rates are as low as 2.750 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for non-profit organizations 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.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585 for people with speech or hearing disabilities. The locations of Disaster Recovery Center and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for people with speech or hearing disabilities) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Those affected by this disaster may fill out a loan application online by visiting SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is July 13. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Feb. 14, 2011.

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