WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Administrator Maria
Contreras-Sweet issued the following statement after the announcement of the Presidential
disaster declaration for Sevier County, Tennessee affected by wildfires on
Nov. 28 – Dec. 9, 2016:
“The U.S. Small Business Administration is strongly committed to providing the people of
Tennessee with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses,
homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans. Getting businesses and communities up and
running after a disaster is our highest priority at the SBA.”
The disaster declaration covers Sevier County in Tennessee which is eligible for both Physical
and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit
organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic
Injury Disaster Loans: Blount, Cocke, Jefferson and Knox in Tennessee; Haywood and Swain
counties in North Carolina.
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. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of
their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation
improvements may now include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and
occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture
and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans 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 $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged
or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace
disaster damaged or destroyed personal property.
Interest rates are as low as 3.125 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for nonprofit
organizations 1.5 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts
and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure
website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at
www.DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is
unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use
711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.
Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process
can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339
for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Feb. 12, 2017. The
deadline to return economic injury applications is Sept. 15, 2017.