SBA offers disaster assistance to Tennessee businesses

The SBA presents a low-interest loan to assist businesses, residents, homeowners and renters from natural disasters.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Tennessee businesses and residents affected by wind, severe weather and wildfires from March 30 through April 6 may apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, according to an announcement made by SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman.

Businesses and residents in the declared area can now apply for low-interest disaster loans from the SBA, according to the release. The declaration covers Sevier Country, the adjacent counties of Blount, Cocke, Jefferson, and Knox in Tennessee; and Haywood and Swain in North Carolina. 

In response to a letter requesting a disaster declaration from Governor Bill Lee, Guzman made the loans available. 

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Tennessee with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans,” said Guzman. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

To assist businesses and residents affected by the disaster, the SBA will open a Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) in Sevierville at noon Thursday, July 21:

Sevier County: King Family Library at 408 High St., Sevierville, TN, 37862 

Opening: Thursday, July 21, 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Thursday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Closes Permanently: Thursday, Aug. 4 at 5 p.m.

Customer Service Representatives will be available at the DLOC to answer any questions about the disaster loan program and help people complete their applications. 

“Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets,” said SBA’s Tennessee District Director LaTanya Channel. 

The SBA also offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private nonprofit organizations that were caused by the 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 loans up to $400,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property,” said Kem Fleming, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase of up to 20 percent of their physical damages verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Interest rates are 2.94 percent for businesses, 1.875 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.438 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years, according to the release. 

Disaster loan information and application forms can be acquired by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or sending an email to [email protected]

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Sept. 19, 2002. The deadline to return economic injury applications is April 20, 2023.