Financial help available for tornado victims
from staff and wire reports
Dec. 27, 2002
NEWTON The U.S. Small Business Administration will open a disaster assistance office Monday in Newton to help homeowners and business owners in nine East Mississippi counties apply for disaster aid.
The SBA will make low-interest disaster loans available in areas damaged by the Dec. 19 severe weather. Counties include Clarke, Jasper, Kemper, Lauderdale, Leake, Neshoba, Newton, Scott and Smith
Severe weather struck East Mississippi last week, including one tornado with up to 157 mph winds that devastated parts of Newton and another with up to 72 mph winds that hit southeast Lauderdale County.
Allen said the deadline for physical damage applications is Feb. 24 and the deadline for economic injury applications is Sept. 24.
Amy Carruth, public relations director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, said insurance information is the most essential documentation applicants will need to take with them to the disaster assistance office.
She said applicants also will need their Social Security number and the address of the damaged property.
She said applicants will receive a packet for their loan application that will require more specific information to be completed and returned to the office.
The SBA offers loans of up to $200,000 to repair disaster-damaged homes. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to replace personal property.
Loans to businesses and nonprofit organizations of up to $1.5 million are available to repair damage to real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory and leasehold improvements.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans also may be made to small businesses unable to pay bills and meet expenses because of the disaster.
Interest rates can be as low as 2.937 percent for homeowners and renters and 3.324 percent or businesses with terms up to 30 years. Actual loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based upon the applicant's financial condition.