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USBA Offers Disaster Assistance to TN Businesses & Residents

On May 11,2021, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced that low-interest disaster loans will be made available to businesses and residents in Tennessee following the announcement of the Presidential Major Disaster Declaration as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding from March 25 - April 3, 2021.

“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,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. Businesses and residents in the declared area can now apply for low-interest disaster loans from the SBA.

The Major Disaster Declaration covers Davidson, Williamson and Wilson 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 Tennessee counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Cannon, Cheatham, Dekalb, Dickson, Hickman, Marshall, Maury, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Sumner and Trousdale.

“This comes as good news to those that were affected by the severe weather and flooding in late March and early April. We’re so thankful for the Federal Government’s collaboration with our local governments to make the small business loans and FEMA funds available,” said Randall Hutto, Wilson County Mayor.

According to the SBA, 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. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20% of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a sump pump, elevation, 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 for up to $40,000 to restore or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed personal property. Interest rates are as low as 3% for businesses, 2% for nonprofit organizations and 1.25% 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 www.DisasterLoan.sba.gov.

It is necessary for residents and business owners with damaged property to apply for a permit as soon as possible. In several cases, homeowners repairing damaged homes will not be required to pay for building permits. For questions or concerns, citizens are encouraged to call the Wilson County Planning Office, which is located inside the Wilson County Courthouse at 228 East Main Street, Room 5, in Lebanon, Tennessee. For questions or concerns regarding permits, the Planning office can be reached at 615/449-2836. Information regarding the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) can be found at  https://www.wilsoncountyplanning.com/Planning-Resources/fema-crs-brochure.html.

FEMA's fact sheet on SBA loans can be found here. 

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at www.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 DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.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 July 7, 2021.

The deadline to return economic injury applications is Feb. 8, 2022.

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