COVINGTON, Ga. — Seven Newton County residents have been approved to receive a total of $285,000 in U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to repair their homes or businesses.
The county residents approved for the low-interest disaster loans were among 38 who had applied through Sunday, Feb. 5, said spokesman James Accurso of the SBA.
They were among 414 Georgians who had applied for a home or business loan. A total of 55 were approved for loans of more than $1.7 million in the multi-county federal disaster area for losses due to severe storms, straight-line winds and tornadoes that occurred Jan. 12.
A SBA Business Recovery Center has been set up in Newton County at the Georgia FFA-FCCLA Center's Mobley Hall at 720 FFA FHA Camp Road, Covington, GA 30014.
SBA also is staffing a Disaster Recovery Center with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at the Bert Adams Boy Scout Camp at 218 Scout Road in Covington.
Hours are Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the FFA location, and seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Bert Adams location.
“Our Business Recovery Centers are one of the most powerful resources at SBA’s disposal to support business owners in the midst of a disaster,” said Francisco Sanchez Jr., associate administrator of the Office of Disaster Assistance.
“Business owners can meet in-person with our specialists to apply for SBA disaster loans and get information on the full breadth of our programs designed to help them navigate their recovery.”The SBA is encouraging those in need — or with any questions — to visit the Business Recovery Center in Newton County or five other locations before March 17.”
Customer service representatives can answer program questions and assist in completing the SBA application. In addition to Newton County, they can be found six days a week in:
• Jasper County at the New Rocky Creek Baptist Church in Mansfield;
• Henry County at the Locust Grove Public Library in Locust Grove;
• Meriwether County at the West Georgia Technical College in Greenville;
• Spalding County at the Spalding Senior Center in Griffin;
• Troup County at the William Griggs Recreation Center in LaGrange.
The disaster declaration includes Butts, Henry, Jasper, Meriwether, Newton, Spalding and Troup counties in Georgia, which are 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 (EIDLs): Clayton, Coweta, DeKalb, Fayette, Harris, Heard, Jones, Lamar, Monroe, Morgan, Pike, Putnam, Rockdale, Talbot, Upson and Walton in Georgia; and Chambers and Randolph in Alabama.
New disaster loan borrowers have up to one year from the date of the note to begin making payments. Interest on the loan will not begin to accrue until 12 months from the date of the initial loan disbursement. Previously, interest begins to accrue on all disbursed loan funds including during the initial payment deferment period. It will benefit disaster survivors and help them to decrease the overall cost of recovery by setting the interest rate to 0% for the first 12 months and reducing the overall amount of accrued interest they must repay.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/ and should apply under SBA declaration # 17761. To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at 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.