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By PAUL SIMS
Area residents have just a few more weekdays to apply in-person for loans available in the wake of last monthâ€™s storms.
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency representatives are staffing the U.S. Small Business Administrationâ€™s Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Starkville today, Monday and Tuesday.
People whose homes, private non-profit organizations and businesses sustained damage in the storms which struck Oktibbeha County and Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clay, Itawamba, Lee, Lowndes, Monroe, Noxubee, Webster and Winston counties Nov. 29-30 are eligible to apply.
SBA disaster loan rates will be as low as 2.25 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for nonprofits and 4 percent for businesses. Residents and business representatives do not need to wait until an insurance claim is settled to apply for the loans.
The loans are available for up to $200,000 to repair primary residences damaged in the storm and up to $40,000 to replace or repair damaged personal property, including clothing and furniture.
Personnel with any-size business and private non-profit groups may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed machinery, equipment, inventory, real estate and related assets.
â€śThis is extremely helpful to help folks get back on their feet. This is the only program thatâ€™s going to be available for people following these storms,â€ť said Greg Flynn, MEMA public information officer.
Flynn says a number of people have called and said they have been denied â€“Â â€śthey didnâ€™t earn enough money and we really ask them to reach out to their cities to find out what might be out thereâ€ť such groups as charities and non-profit organizations.
He said the â€śfederal government steps in when they believe it is beyond the city or areaâ€™s capabilities to recover on their own and we just didnâ€™t meet the criteria. We understand that one familyâ€™s loss of a home is devastating to them. We just didnâ€™t have enough widespread damage to qualify for a major disaster declaration. We definitely encourage everybody to at least apply.â€ť
The Starkville center is located at Courthouse Annex Building, Courtroom B, at 108 W. Main St. It is open today from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed for the weekend. It will reopen Monday and Tuesday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Homeowners need to bring identification; social security numbers; mortgage or lease and any insurance information along with financial details such as income, monthly payments and bank statements, Flynn said.
Business owners should bring identification; social security and employer identification numbers; business license, any insurance and available financial information, he said.
People will be able to apply over the phone 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at (800) 659-2955 or (800) 877-8339 for the hearing impaired, or by visiting SBAâ€™s website at http://www.sba.gov/.
Applicants have until Feb. 7 to submit loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration Processing and Disbursement Center at 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.