Residents and businesses affected by the severe weather and tornado that struck Wetumpka and other places in central Alabama on Jan. 19 can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the Small Business Administration, the governor’s office announced.
Gov. Kay Ivey requested the disaster declaration in a letter to the SBA on Feb. 14.
The declaration covers Elmore County and the adjacent counties of Autauga, Chilton, Coosa, Macon, Montgomery and Tallapoosa.
SBA representatives will be available at an outreach center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications. The center will be in Wetumpka at the Elmore County Commission, 100 E. Commerce St.
The center will be open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The center’s last day of operation will be Saturday, March 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Businesses and private nonprofit organizations can borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets damaged or destroyed by the storm.
Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations can apply for 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.
Homeowners can receive loans of up to $200,000 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.
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.
Interest rates are as low as 3.74 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 2 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amount and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Applicants can apply online using the electronic loan application via the SBA’s website.
Businesses and individuals can 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Loan applications can also be downloaded at the SBA’s website.
Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
More than 1,000 volunteer to put Wetumpka back together
Gov. Kay Ivey toured the area where a tornado on Saturday destroyed homes and churches near the Coosa River in the heart of Wetumpka.