September 20, 2019

Flood victims can apply for disaster assistance online

Electronic filing deadline is Aug. 26 for loans for physical property damage

(This article was updated July 15, 2019)

Governor Roy Cooper just announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration has granted his request for a disaster declaration for Mecklenburg County and Catawba County, and the contiguous counties of Alexander, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, and Union. Dozens of homes in these areas were flooded after recent heavy rains.

“This declaration is good news for people who need help recovering,” said Governor Cooper.

An initial damage assessment from the June 6 storms found floods and heavy winds blocked roads and caused major damage to more than 50 homes and businesses in Catawba and Mecklenburg counties.

SBA loans are designed to help home and business owners where insurance does not fully cover the cost of repairs to a home or business. The loans can also be used to reduce the economic injury, or replace machinery, equipment and inventory loss caused by the storm.

“Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets,” said SBA’s North Carolina Acting District Director Mike Arriola.

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.

“Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners 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,” said Kem Fleming, center director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

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 4 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.938 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 may apply online now using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.  The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is August 26, 2019. The deadline to return economic injury applications is March 27, 2020.

Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955, or 1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, or by emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan applications can also be downloaded at sba.gov.

Completed applications should be returned to the Disaster Recovery Centers or mailed to:

U.S. Small Business Administration
Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Road
Fort Worth, TX 76155

With the approval of the SBA declaration, the state is also initiating the process for a Type 1 State disaster declaration which may make state funded grants available to eligible affected homeowners.

Items applicants must present for disaster assessment include:

* Proof of home/vehicle ownership (deed, tax record, vehicle registration)
* Proof of residence (utility bill, front page of bank statement)
* Proof of insurance (home/auto) declaration page
* Copy of Driver’s license/state ID
* Copy of Social Security card
* Two estimates of physical damage (homeowners only)
* Photos

For questions regarding the North Carolina State Disaster Grants for Individuals, applicants can email questions to  IARecovery@ncdps.gov or call (919) 825-2378.

 

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