SBA to Issue Disaster Loans for Victims of Arkansas Tornado

MARCH 13, 2007 - Posted at 7:29 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency may not see the need for emergency assistance to Desha County after last month's tornado, but the Small Business Administration apparently does. Governor Beebe says the SBA will make low-interest disaster loans available in the county.

Beebe said yesterday that the agency's decision to provide loans for home and business owners means the state cannot appeal FEMA's denial of emergency relief for the area.

Beebe said the SBA would open a disaster loan outreach center today at First United Methodist Church in Dumas.

Under the SBA program, homeowners can apply for up to $200,000 in loans to repair and replace any damage from the February 24 tornadoes. Loans up to $40,000 will be available for homeowners and renters to repair and replace personal property.

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations can apply for up to $1.5 million to replace real estate, equipment and inventory lost in the storms.

Small-business owners may also apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet capital needs caused by the storms, regardless of whether the business suffered property damage.

Applications for property damage must be filed by May 11 and the deadline for economic-injury applications is December 12.

Anyone affected by the storms in Arkansas, Chicot, Drew, Lincoln and Phillips counties may submit applications to the agency.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)