Some non-profits eligible for post-tornado assistance

TORNADOACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Certain private non-profit organizations (PNPs) that do not provide critical services of a governmental nature may be eligible to apply for low interest rate disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. These loans are available as a result of a presidential disaster declaration for severe storms, tornadoes and flooding on April 28-May 3.

PNPs are eligible in the counties of Itawamba, Jones, Leake, Lee, Lowndes, Newton, Rankin, Wayne and Winston.  Examples of eligible non-critical PNP organizations include, but are not limited to, food kitchens, homeless shelters, museums, libraries, community centers, schools and colleges.

“PNP organizations are urged to contact their county’s emergency manager to obtain information about local public assistance applicant briefings.  At the meeting, PNP representatives will need to provide information about their organization,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

The information will be used to submit a Request for Public Assistance which FEMA uses to determine if the PNP provides an essential governmental service and meets the definition of a “critical facility.”  Based upon that conclusion, FEMA may provide the PNP with a public assistance reimbursement grant for their eligible costs or refer the PNP to SBA for disaster loan assistance.

PNP organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.  The interest rate is 2.625 percent with terms up to 30 years.  Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, to make improvements that help prevent the risk of future property damage caused by a similar disaster.

The SBA also offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs, such as ongoing operating expenses to PNP organizations of all sizes.  Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the organization suffered any physical property damage.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.  Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be 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 July 11.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is Feb. 12, 2015.

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