Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza issued the following statement after the announcement of the Presidential disaster declaration for several counties in Tennessee affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding on April 12 – 13, 2020. Businesses and residents in the declared area can now apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“The SBA is strongly committed to providing Tennessee residents with the most effective response possible to assist businesses, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans. Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority.”
The disaster declaration covers Bradley and Hamilton counties in Tennessee which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Bledsoe, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea and Sequatchie in Tennessee.
In accordance with health precautions for the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the SBA will not establish a field presence to assist survivors. However, SBA will continue to provide first class customer service and conduct outreach virtually with webinars, skype calls, phone assistance and step-by-step application assistance. As a result, SBA has opened a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center/Business Recovery Center (VDLOC/VBRC) to help survivors apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ and there are virtual customer support representatives available to assist applicants with completing the online application. The VDLOC/VBRC information:
Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center/Business Recovery Center (VDLOC/VBRC)
Open: Monday – Friday
Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (EST)
Closed: Saturdays and Sundays
Phone: (571) 422-1925; or (571) 422-6016; or (404) 909-1535
These services are only available for the Tennessee disaster declaration as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding on April 12 – 13, 2020, and not for COVID-19 related assistance.
Survivors should contact the Disaster Assistance Professionals at (571) 422-1925 or (571) 422-6016 or (404) 909-1535 to schedule an appointment for immediate one-on-one assistance in completing their applications. Requests for SBA disaster loan program information may be obtained by emailing FOCE-Help@sba.gov. The SBA will conduct extensive outreach to ensure that all impacted by the disaster are afforded the opportunity to seek assistance.
Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit 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.
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.
Interest rates are as low as 3.75 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations and 1.563 percent for homeowners and renters 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 the SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/
To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.
Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing email@example.com
Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov
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 June 23, 2020. The deadline to return economic injury applications is January 25, 2021.