Small Business Administration Steps In To Help Catawba County After EF-1 Tornado Catawba – It’s been almost one month since a deadly tornado ripped through catawba county. On Wednesday, Governor Roy Cooper signed a Type I state disaster declaration for individual assistance for Catawba County. This declaration makes additional assistance available to Catawba County and surrounding counties, following the disaster declaration issued from the Small Business Administration. On Saturday, the SBA announced that they would be making low-interest disaster loans available to people whose homes and businesses were affected by January’s storms. Not just in Catawba, but Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Iredell and Lincoln Counties as well. An SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center will be open from February 5 through February 19 at Catawba County Emergency Services, located at 100 Government Drive, Newton, NC 28658. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. The center will permanently close at 4:00 p.m. February 19. Customer service representatives will be available at the Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications. Loans up to $500,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $100,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Economic Injury Disaster Loans are also available for businesses that may need working capital due to the disaster regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage. This includes small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase of up to 20 percent 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 damage. 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. Interest does not begin to accrue, and monthly payments are not due, until 12 months from the date of the initial disbursement. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
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