Disaster relief request approved for counties including Lowndes

Published 1:23 pm Friday, January 15, 2016

Special to The Lowndes Signal
Governor Robert Bentley announced Friday that the Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved a request for disaster assistance for Coffee, Jefferson, Montgomery, Morgan and surrounding counties, including Lowndes.
The approval is based damage assessments from severe storms and flooding that occurred Dec. 24 – 31, 2015. Governor Bentley made the request to SBA Monday.
“Cleanup continues in many communities, and assistance from the SBA will go a long way in helping our communities recover from the tornadoes and flooding experienced in December,” Governor Bentley said. “There is help available for homeowners, businesses and nonprofit organizations that suffered damage from the storms. From the time the storms and flooding hit our state, to seeking today’s disaster declaration from the SBA, we have been working with affected communities and connecting them with resources available.”
The disaster declaration covers the primary counties of Coffee, Jefferson, Montgomery and Morgan counties. It also covers counties that are contiguous to these primary counties. Those counties are Autauga, Bibb, Blount, Bullock, Covington, Crenshaw, Cullman, Dale, Elmore, Geneva, Lawrence, Limestone, Lowndes, Macon, Madison, Marshall, Pike, Shelby, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa, and Walker counties .
In all counties covered by the SBA disaster declaration, homeowners, renters, businesses and nonprofit organizations that qualify will have the following options from the SBA.
Home Disaster Loans: Renters and homeowners alike may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars, appliances, etc., damaged or destroyed in the storms. Homeowners may apply for up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence to its pre-disaster condition.
Business Physical Disaster Loans: Loans of up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible. Private, nonprofit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc., are also eligible.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans: If a small business or private, nonprofit organization has suffered economic injury, regardless of physical damage, and is located in an SBA-declared disaster area, they may be eligible for financial assistance of up to $2 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Alabamians interested in applying for SBA low-interest rate loans can receive more information by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or 800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. The SBA Disaster Customer Service Center may also be reached by email at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Additional information, including SBA disaster loan fact sheets, can be found on the SBA’s website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
“We appreciate the Small Business Administration for working quickly to approve Governor Bentley’s request,” Alabama EMA Director Art Faulkner said. “AEMA will continue to work with citizens and local elected officials to identify resources that may be available.”

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