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SBA disaster loans available

The U.S. Small Business Administration has added more communities, including Suffolk, to the disaster declaration resulting from damage by Hurricane Matthew to properties in North Carolina.

The North Carolina disaster declaration now covers the counties of Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Gates, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Nash, Pender, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Wayne and Wilson, 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: Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chatham, Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Franklin, Halifax, Hertford, Lee, Martin, Moore, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Richmond, Scotland, Tyrrell, Wake, Warren, and Washington in North Carolina; Dillon, Horry and Marlboro in South Carolina; and Southampton County and the city of Suffolk in Virginia.

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.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses and 2.625 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.563 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may now include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

Applicants may apply online via the SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by mobile device at m.fema.gov. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 9. The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 10.