FORT SMITH – Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West announced today that SBA will close its Fort Smith Business Recovery Center at 6 p.m. on Thursday July 11. “SBA opened the center to provide personalized assistance to businesses that were affected by severe storms and flooding that occurred May 21 – June 14, 2019,” said Garfield.

Until the center closes, SBA representatives will continue to meet with business owners to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process, help each individual complete their electronic loan application and close their approved loans. No appointment is necessary.

SBA representatives are still available at all the federal-state Disaster Recovery Centers throughout the affected areas to explain SBA’s disaster loan program and help business owners and residents close their approved disaster loans. So far, SBA has approved $6.3 million in federal disaster loans to help rebuild and recover from this disaster.

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates can be as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.938 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov(link sends e-mail) for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

The deadline to apply for property damage is Aug. 7, 2019. The deadline to apply for economic injury is March 9, 2020.


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