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More disaster assistance centers open for Isaac victims

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — The U.S. Small Business Administration has opened two more Business Recovery Centers, bringing the number of centers to three.

These temporary centers are designated to provide one-on-one help to business owners seeking disaster assistance for losses caused by Hurricane Isaac.

The centers are:

• Hancock County — Hancock Chamber of Commerce, 111 Court Street, Bay St. Louis

• Jackson County — Moss Point Old City Hall Building, 4412 Denny Street, Moss Point, MS  39563

• Harrison County — SBA Gulfport Branch Office, Hancock Bank Plaza, 2510 14th Street, Suite 103, Gulfport, MS  39501

The centers in Hancock and Jackson counties are open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. The Harrison County center is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Businesses and non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace 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, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private non-profit 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.

Interest rates are as low as 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.

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

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by mobile devise at m.fema.gov. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free Helpline at 800-621-3362.  Those who use the 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362. Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and
hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is October 31, 2012.
The deadline to return economic injury applications is May 30, 2013.

In a separate Isaac-related item, disaster recovery centers have opened in Jackson and Natchez to help those with storm losses caused by Isaac, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

Center hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day until further notice. The Adams County DRC will be open from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. on Sundays.

The newest centers are located in Parkway Baptist Church in Natchez and Golden Key Community Center in Jackson

Recovery centers are also open in the following locations:

• Clarke County — Sunflower Grocery Shopping Center in Quitman

• Forrest County — Forrest County Community Shelter in Hattiesburg

• George County — George County Senior Center in Lucedale

• Hancock County — Hancock County Resource Center in Waveland

• Harrison County — County Farm Road 361 Shelter in Gulfport

• Jackson County — Jackson County Fairgrounds in Pascagoula

• Lincoln County — Army National Guard Armory in Brookhaven

• Marion County — Marion County Development Partnership in Columbia

• Pearl River County — Mississippi National Guard Armory in Picayune and Baker Maid Building in Poplarville

• Pike County — Community Safe Room in Magnolia

• Stone County — Stone County Safe Room in Wiggins

• Walthall County — Walthall County Library in Tylertown

• Wilkinson County — Wilkinson County Industrial Complex in Woodville, MS 39669

Representatives of the MEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency and SBA will be at the centers to explain assistance programs and help survivors apply for disaster aid.

Before going to a disaster recovery center, people with storm losses are encouraged to register with FEMA online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone at m.fema.gov. Applicants also may call 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or Video Relay Service, call 800-621-3362.

The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.


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