SBA offers disaster assistance to businesses, residents impacted by severe storms in TN, KY

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Following  President Joe Biden’s approval of an expedited federal disaster declaration for the Middle Tennessee areas impacted by last weekend’s deadly tornado outbreak, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the availability of low-interest disaster loans for local businesses and residents.

“SBA’s mission-driven team stands ready to help Tennessee small businesses and residents impacted by this disaster in every way possible under President Biden’s disaster declaration for certain affected areas,” said SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman. “We’re committed to providing federal disaster loans swiftly and efficiently, with a customer-centric approach to help businesses and communities recover and rebuild.”

According to officials, the disaster declaration covers Davidson, Dickson, Montgomery, and Sumner counties, all of which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) from the SBA.

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However, small businesses and most private nonprofits in the following counties are eligible to apply only for EIDLs, the SBA said:

  • Tennessee: Cheatham, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Macon, Robertson, Rutherford, Stewart, Trousdale, Williamson, and Wilson counties

  • Kentucky: Allen, Christian, Simpson, and Todd counties

Customer service representatives at SBA’s Business Recovery Centers will reportedly help business owners complete their disaster loan applications, accept documents for existing applications, and provide updates on the status of applications. The Centers are set to operate during the hours listed below until further notice:

  • Business Recovery Center in Montgomery County

    • Clarksville-Montgomery County Regional Planning Commission at 329 Main Street, Clarksville, TN 37040

    • Open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., not including Christmas and New Year’s Day

  • Business Recovery Center in Sumner County

    • Hendersonville Area Chamber of Commerce at 100 Country Club Drive, Suite 103, Hendersonville, TN 37075

    • Open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., not including Christmas and New Year’s Day

Disaster Unemployment Assistance available in 4 Middle Tennessee counties affected by tornadoes

The SBA shared more information about disaster assistance in a statement released on Friday, Dec. 15:

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) 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.

Disaster loans up to $500,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $100,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates are as low as 4% for businesses, 3.25% for nonprofit organizations, and 2.688% for homeowners and renters, with terms of up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Interest does not begin to accrue until 12 months from the date of the initial disaster loan disbursement. SBA disaster loan repayment begins 12 months from the date of the initial disbursement.

Building back smarter and stronger can be an effective recovery tool for future disasters. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase of up to 20% 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 disasters.

Federal assistance available for residents in 4 Middle Tennessee counties impacted by tornadoes

“The opportunity to include measures to help prevent future damage from occurring is a significant benefit of SBA’s disaster loan program,” said SBA Associate Administrator Francisco Sanchez Jr. “I encourage everyone to consult their contractors and emergency management mitigation specialists for ideas and apply for an SBA disaster loan increase for funding.”

If you want to learn more about disaster assistance and/or apply for it, follow this link. Applicants can also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email for more information. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, dial 711 to access telecommunications relay services.

According to officials, the filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Feb. 12, 2024, but the the deadline to return economic injury applications is Sept. 13, 2024.

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