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SBA offers disaster assistance to Georgia businesses and residents affected by tornadoes
Bryan Tornado April 5 9
Pam Gunter's car on its side, April 9, 2022, four days after the April 5 tornado that tore through North Bryan.

Georgia businesses and residents affected by the severe storms and tornadoes on April 5-6, 2022, may apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced today. 

Guzman made the loans available in response to a letter from Georgia Gov. Brian P. Kemp on April 20, 2022, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. Businesses and residents in the declared area can now apply for low-interest disaster loans from the SBA. 

The declaration includes Bryan County and the adjacent counties of Bulloch, Chatham, Effingham, Evans and Liberty in Georgia.

To assist businesses and residents affected by the disaster, the SBA will open a Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) in Bryan County on Tuesday, April 26 at 11 a.m. at the Pembroke Police Department, 154 Railroad St.

Ongoing hours will be Monday – Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays, April 30 and May 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The site will close: Thursday, May 12 at 4 p.m. 

Customer Service Representatives will be available at the DLOC to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications. 

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the SBA has established protocols to help protect the health and safety of the public. All visitors to the DLOC are encouraged to wear a face mask.

 “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,” said SBA’s Georgia District Director, Terri Denison White. For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

 “Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property,” said Kem Fleming, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta. 

Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase of 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. 

Interest rates are as low as 2.94 percent for businesses, 1.875 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.438 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 SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov/ela/s and should apply under SBA declaration # 17418. Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (if you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services) or emailing DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. 

Loan applications may be downloaded at sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be returned to the centers or 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 21, 2022. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Jan. 23, 2023. 

BELOW: Read the SBA fact sheet (PDF format)

Small Business Administration fact sheet
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