Lincoln and surrounding counties that were impacted by the flash flooding on July 27 have received a disaster-loan declaration from the United States Small Business Administration, local officials announced Thursday.
The declaration will allow those with property damage from the storms to apply for low-interest disaster loans through the federal organization.
SBA Administrator Karen Mills made the loans available in response to a letter from Gov. Pat McCrory on Aug. 1 requesting the disaster declaration, which specifically covers Catawba County and the adjacent counties of Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Iredell and Lincoln, according to a press release from the SBA.
Individuals or families — including homeowners and renters — who experienced damage to their homes or other personal property may be eligible to receive financial assistance, whether they own a business or not.
The SBA Business Physical Disaster Loan Program also covers losses for businesses not fully covered by insurance, including for machinery, equipment, pictures, real property and inventory. Businesses of any size and most nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million in assistance.
Damage assessors from the SBA and North Carolina Emergency Management toured impacted areas at the end of last month.
“Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate,” Frank Skaggs, director of the SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta, said in the release. “Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.”
The latest figures from Lincoln County officials show that, as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the total number of countywide damaged-property registrations has reached 22.
“Recovery teams from the SBA and North Carolina Emergency Management will be at the disaster-outreach center for the next week,” said N.C. Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry in a release from McCrory’s office. “The teams can help individuals complete their applications, answer questions about the disaster-loan program and explain the application process.”
The SBA’s disaster-loan outreach center opened Thursday at the Catawba County Agriculture Resource Center, located at 1175 S. Brady Ave. in Newton. It will be open again today from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and then 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The center will be closed Sunday, but will be open Monday through Thursday of next week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Interest rates are as low as 1.875 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.875 percent for nonprofit organizations and 4 percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. Individuals and businesses unable to visit the outreach center can apply via the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or online at: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community can call 800-877-8339.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical-property damage is Oct. 7, with economic-injury applications due by May 6.
McCrory’s office also announced Wednesday that the governor has proclaimed a state-disaster declaration, which enables those who do not qualify for SBA loans to seek state funds to help them recover.