Storm disaster loans available for Miss-Lou residents

Published 12:14 am Thursday, April 17, 2014

NATCHEZ — Miss-Lou residents who were impacted by the severe weather and “historic” flooding in late March will have an opportunity starting today to apply for low-interest disaster loans.

Residents in Adams, Amite, Franklin and Wilkinson counties, as well as Concordia, East Feliciana and West Feliciana parishes, are able to apply for the low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Areas of Wilkinson County received between 6 to 8 inches of rain during the March 28 storm, which displaced many residents from their homes and apartments.

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Wilkinson County Emergency Management Agency Director Thomas C. Tolliver Jr. said the heavy rains were like nothing the area had seen before.

“That was historic for us,” Tolliver said. “We have interviewed residents and looked for records, and nothing like that has ever come through this area before.”

Tolliver said 75 homes were affected by the storm, and some homes were rendered uninhabitable because of the damage.

“Some people had no homes to live in, and others are still damaged,” Tolliver said. “We’d like to see all of our citizens take advantage of the assistance that’s become available.”

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced the availability of the loans Tuesday following a letter from Gov. Phil Bryant on April 8 requesting the disaster declaration.

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

Loans of 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 $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

SBA customer service representatives are launching a disaster loan outreach center today at the Crosby Town Hall in Wilkinson County, which is located at 326 Mississippi 33 in Crosby.

The center will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today through April 24, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Business and non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace 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 to make improvements that help prevent the risk of future property damage caused by a similar disaster.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.

EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Interest rates are as low as 2.25 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.625 percent for
non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application at

Loan applications are also available by calling 1-800-659-2955 or by emailing

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is June 13. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Jan. 14.