The declaration covers Holmes County and the adjacent counties of Attala, Carroll, Humphreys, Leflore, Madison and Yazoo in Mississippi.

On Tuesday, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) announced that businesses and residents affected by the severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes March 22, 2022, may apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said that getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is their highest priority at SBA.

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Mississippi with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans,” said Guzman.

Administrator Guzman made the loans available in response to a letter from Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves dated July 18, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA.

Businesses and residents in the declared area can now apply for low-interest disaster loans from the SBA. The declaration covers Holmes County and the adjacent counties of Attala, Carroll, Humphreys, Leflore, Madison and Yazoo in Mississippi.

To assist businesses and residents affected by the disaster, the SBA will open a Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) at 9 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 4 at Durant Missionary Baptist Church- 16455 N. Jackson St. Durant, MS 39063.

The DLOC will open Thursday, August 4, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and closes permanently on Thursday, August 18th at 4 p.m. Hours of the center will be Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

MEMA said that Customer Service Representatives will be available at the DLOC to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the SBA has established protocols to help protect the health and safety of the public.

SBA’s Mississippi District Director Janita Stewart said that 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 (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.

Kem Fleming, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta, said that loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate.

“Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property,” said Fleming.

Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase of up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes.

“Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain, or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster,” a release form MEMA said.

“Interest rates are as low as 2.94 percent for businesses, 1.875 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.438 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,” the release continued.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website and should apply under SBA declaration # 17539.

Disaster loan information and application forms can also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (if you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services) or sending an email to [email protected].

Loan applications can also be downloaded from sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Sept. 30, 2022 and the deadline to return economic injury applications is May 1, 2023.