SBA offers disaster assistance to affected Tennessee residents and businesses

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SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) – Tennessee residents and businesses affected by wind, weather and wildfires from March 30 to April 6, 2022 will be eligible for disaster assistance from the United States Small Business Administration, according to a spokesperson Wednesday.

Officials say it comes after Governor Bill Lee sent a letter to the SBA dated July 11, requesting a disaster declaration. The announced statement covers Sevier County and adjacent counties, including Blount, Cocke, Jefferson and Knox in Tennessee and Haywood and Swain in North Carolina, according to a statement.

Now, businesses and residents in the declared area can apply to the SBA for low-interest disaster loans.

“The SBA is firmly committed to providing the people of Tennessee with the most efficient and customer-focused response possible to help businesses of all sizes, homeowners and tenants with federal disaster loans,” Guzman said. “Getting businesses and communities back up and running after a disaster is our top priority at SBA.”

During the spring 2022 Hatcher Mountain wildlife in Sevier County, over 200 homes and businesses were destroyed.

To help those affected by the disaster, the SBA announced that it will be opening a Disaster Loan Awareness Center in Sevierville at noon on Thursday, July 21. It will be located at the King Family Library, 408 High Street.

The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

It will close permanently on Thursday August 4 at 5:00 p.m.

For those visiting the center, customer service representatives will be available to answer questions about the disaster loan program and to assist with applications.

“Businesses and private non-profit 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 a disaster,” said the SBA Tennessee District Director, LaTanya Channel.

According to a statement, the SBA will also offer economic disaster loans to help meet capital needs caused by the disaster. Whether businesses have suffered physical or property damage, loan assistance will be available.

“Loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed property. Homeowners and tenants are eligible for loans of 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.

Those who apply may be eligible for an increase in the loan amount of up to 20% of their physical damage, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes, a statement said.

Interest rates will be as low as 2.94% for businesses, 1.875% for nonprofits, and 1.438% for homeowners and tenants, with terms up to 30 years. A spokesperson said eligible amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial situation.

Disaster loan information and application forms can also be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or emailing [email protected] Application forms can also be found here.

Completed applications should be mailed to the United States Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, located at 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The deadline for returning property damage claims is September 19, 2022. The deadline for returning economic injury claims is April 20, 2023.

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