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SBA Stands Ready to Assist Eastern Tennessee Residents Affected by Severe Storms, Tornadoes, High Winds and Flooding

WASHINGTON – U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Karen G. Mills issued the following statement after the announcement of the Presidential disaster declaration for several counties in Tennessee that were affected by the severe storms, tornadoes, high winds and flooding that occurred from April 25 - 28, 2011:

“The U.S. Small Business Administration is strongly committed to providing the people of Tennessee with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist homeowners, renters, and businesses with federal disaster loans. Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

The disaster declaration covers the Tennessee counties of Bradley, Greene, Hamilton and Washington, 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: Bledsoe, Carter, Cocke, Hamblen, Hawkins, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, Sequatchie, Sullivan and Unicoi in Tennessee; contiguous counties of Catoosa, Dade, Murray, Walker and Whitfield in Georgia; and contiguous Madison County in North Carolina.

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 2.688 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), or 800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The locations of Disaster Recovery Centers, and information about the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center is
800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the hearing and speech impaired) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET, 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 deadline to return applications for physical property damage is June 30, 2011.
The deadline to return economic injury applications is February 1, 2012.

For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Programs, visit our website at www.sba.gov.

Release Number: 
11-381, TN 12556/12557
Release Date: 
Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 4:00am
Michael Lampton 404-331-0333
Related State: 
Field Operations Center: