Disaster loans available

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 30, 2014

Covington County is one of five Alabama counties eligible for low-interest disaster loans following the heavy rains and flooding in late April and early May.

According to information from the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than $7 million in Disaster Assistance Loans has been approved for residents in Florida, but residents in the five Alabama counties boarding the state are also eligible for economic injury disaster relief loans.

SBA officials said most small businesses and private, non-profit organizations will be eligible to apply for economic relief through the loans.

“Currently, 179 loans have been approved in the amount of $7,612,000 for affected survivors,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s field operations center east in Atlanta. “We are pleased to get these loans approved so residents in the disaster area can start to rebuild and resume their normal lives. I encourage anyone who has not submitted an SBA disaster loan application to do so as quickly as possible.”

In Florida, Escambia, Jackson, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties are eligible for both physical and economic injury disaster loans from the SBA, while Baldwin, Escambia, Covington, Geneva and Houston counties in Alabama; Bay, Calhoun, Gadsden, Holmes, Liberty and Washington counties in Florida; and Seminole County in Georgia will be eligible only for economic injury disaster loans.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 800-621-FEMA (3362), (TTY) 800-462-7585 for the deaf and hard of hearing. Survivors may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

The deadline to return applications for economic injury is February 6, 2015.