Disaster loans available to flood-impacted businesses, residents in 19 TN counties

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The U.S. Small Business Administration is making its disaster loan program available to five counties recovering from severe weather earlier this year in Tennessee.

Gov. Bill Lee made the announcement on Monday. The declaration covers Decatur, Hardin, Humphreys, Perry and Sevier counties, as well as the adjacent counties of Benton, Blount, Carroll, Chester, Cocke, Dickson, Henderson, Hickman, Houston, Jefferson, Knox, Lewis, McNairy and Wayne.

Those counties continue to recover from severe storms and flooding from February 6 through February 24.

Homeowners can take out loans up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged real estate. Up to $40,000 is available to replace or repair damaged or destroyed personal property.

Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofits can take out Economic Injury Disaster Loans., which are available whether or not the business suffered any physical damage.

Interest rates are 4 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for nonprofits, and 2.063 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years.

Seven Disaster Loan Outreach Centers are also going to open across the state beginning Tuesday and running through July 2:

  • Decatur County
    Decatur County Library
    20 W. Market Street
    Decaturville, TN 38329
    Opens at 11 a.m. on June 25
    Hours: Weekdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.Hours: Saturday, June 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Hardin County
    Hardin County Fire Dept.
    90 Walnut Street
    Savannah, TN 38372
    Opens at 11 a.m. on June 25
    Hours: Weekdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Knox County
    Central High School
    5321 Jacksboro Pike
    Knoxville, TN 37918
    Opens at 11 a.m. on June 25
    Hours: Weekdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Sevier County
    King Family Library
    408 High Street
    Sevierville, TN 37862
    Opens at 11 a.m. on June 25
    Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Blount County
    Department of Agricultural Services
    1221 McArthur Road
    Maryville, TN 37804
    Opens at 10 a.m. on June 25
    Hours: Weekdays 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, June 29, 8 a.m. to noon.
  • Humphreys County
    City of Waverly Fire Dept.
    105 E. Main Street
    Waverly, TN 37185
    Opens at 11 a.m. on June 25
    Hours: Weekdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Perry County
    Tennessee Career Center
    113 Factory Street
    Lindon, TN 37096
    Opens at 11 a.m. on June 25
    Hours: Weekdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Applicants may apply online using an Electronic Loan Application. You may also call 1-800-659-2955.

MORE ONLINE | Click here for link to electronic application

The filing deadline for physical property damage is August 20, 2019. The deadly for economic injury applications is March 23, 2020.

John Frederick, a public affairs specialist with the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Program, wanted to make it clear their loans go beyond small businesses. He also wanted to encourage anyone in Blount, Cocke, Jefferson, Knox or Sevier counties to apply, regardless of whether you were insured at the time you saw damage.

“Our loans are open to homeowners, renters, businesses, and non-profits. So, if you fit in one of those categories and you’ve been affected by the flooding in February, please come on by,” he said.

He also said you should apply, even if you have insurance, in case you don’t reach your deductible or you can’t afford to meet it.
Frederick said the size of your loan and the terms with it depend on your financial situation. SBA loans can come with interests rates as low as 2% for homeowners and as low as 4% for business owners.

He explained after a person turns in an application, they’ll be contacted by loss verification staff, then a loan amount will be determined and they could receive a check in as soon as three weeks.

Teresa Bowman was first in line Tuesday as staff with U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Assistance program opened up their temporary office at Central High School.

“They were awesome. They really were. I thought it would be a long, drawn-out, application, but it really wasn’t. It was simple,” she said.

Bowman is still dealing with the damage left behind four months since our region saw record-flooding. It destroyed her basement. She’s had to fight mildew, tear up her flooring, cut her sheet rock in half, and stop having her grandkids over because of the risks. Although she said she has homeowner’s insurance, she said she didn’t have flood protection. While it held a lot of personal property, property with a lot of sentimental value, it was also a playroom for her grandkids.

She believes the loan will help restore her house into a home away from home for the grandkids again.

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