Help from SBA is here for tornado victims - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Help from SBA is here for tornado victims

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Thomas County tornado victims began applying for low interest loans to help them recover Tuesday.

The U.S. Small Business Administration opened an office where people can go to fill out loan applications and get their questions answered.

"I came by to see about getting a low interest loan from SBA," said homeowner George Cook.

He lives in a house off Metcalf Road. It's one of the hundreds of homes that stood in the path of the tornado.

"We ended up with the whole back roof damaged bad, we had about 100 trees down. I know I already paid out over $6,000 for getting trees off the house and so forth," he said.

And it's that $6,000 Mr. Cook is hoping to get back. So Tuesday, he turned to the Small Business Administration for help.

"SBA is here to offer low interest loans to individuals who have damage by the severe storms," said Jerome Strong with SBA.  

"We do cover your uninsured loses, your deductible, and other items, debris removal that may not be covered by your insurance company, garages, things of that nature," he said.

For homeowners and renters, loans up to $200,000 are available to repair or replace real estate. And loans up to $40,000 are available for property damage.

If you're a business owner or non-profit organization, you could be eligible for up to $2million dollars. And it's at a low interest rate.

2.187% for homeowners and renters, and 4 percent for businesses.

The SBA is also reaching out to small business owners and non-profit organizations that didn't suffer property damage. Their offering economic injury disaster loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.

"It helps the business continue to meet the operating expenses until the economy recovers from the local disaster that happened. When these things happen people don't spend money like they normally would," said Strong.

The SBA will be stationed at the Thomas County Emergency Services Center Tuesday, March 3 through Thursday, March 12, from 9 a.m. to 5:30pm; Saturday, March 7, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If the severe storms cost you money, they encourage you to stop by, and see what they can do for you.

If you can't visit the center in person, you can get information and loan applications by calling the SBA's Customer Service center at 1-800-659-2955 ( 1-800-811-8339 for the hearing impaired)

You can also get an application online. https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

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