The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) encourages businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and renters to apply for a physical disaster loan before the Feb. 21 deadline. Anyone in the declared counties in Alabama with damages caused by severe storms and flooding on Oct. 6-7, 2021 should apply for a physical disaster loan by the deadline.
Businesses and private nonprofit 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 disaster declaration covers Jefferson and Shelby counties in Alabama, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA EIDLs: Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Coosa, Saint Clair, Talladega, Tuscaloosa and Walker in Alabama.
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced on February 15, 2022, that due to a steady decrease in activity, the Business Recovery Center (BRC) in Jefferson County, Alabama will cease operations at close of business on Thursday, Feb. 17. SBA opened the Center to provide one-on-one assistance to businesses affected by severe storms and flooding on Oct. 6-7, 2021. “I encourage anyone who has not completed their disaster loan application to visit the Center before the closing to meet with a Customer Service Representative for one-on-one assistance,” said Kem Fleming, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East.
After the BRC closes, disaster survivors may still apply online through the Feb. 21 deadline. Anyone in the declared Alabama counties with physical property damage due to severe storms and flooding on Oct. 6-7, 2021 should apply for an SBA low-interest disaster loan.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers EIDLs to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL 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 for up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster-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, elevation, 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 2.855 percent for businesses, 2 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 SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/ and should apply under SBA declaration #17289, not for the COVID-19 incident.
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.
Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s 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. Loan applications can be downloaded from sba.gov/disaster.
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 Feb. 21, 2022. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Sept. 21, 2022.
The Alabama SBDC Network does not control the Disaster Loan process and does not have access to SBA’s disaster loan system. For updates on your application, please contact SBA at the numbers above.