SBA opens up disaster recovery center in Minden for January tornado victims

Homeowners, renters, businesses and private non-profit organizations can apply to borrow money with the SBA to help with the rebuilding process.

SBA opens Disaster Loan Outreach Center

Now over a month later representatives with the Small Business Administration are in Northwest Louisiana hoping to help rebuild.

An EF2 tornado can’t stop Lucille Jacobs.

Last month Lucille she showed KSLA the damage that tornado did to her property. Weeks later downed trees and debris still litter her front yard.

“Right now it just look like a mess," she said. "Which it is a mess. People come by (and say).... ‘when y’all gonna clean this up? I passed by and saw all that y’all had a really really bad storm.' 'I said yeah we did.”

Loans available at SBA

That tornado took multiple lives and destroyed homes across parishes here in Northwest Louisiana, but as people work to rebuild, Lucille admits it’s something that’s still hard to do, especially for other members of her family.

“My sister in law lives... by herself and she got to pay for every little thing that she needs to be done," she said. "That’s kind of horrible when you by yourself and you got to do all the work.”

Susheel Kamar with the Small Business Administration is currently in Minden trying to help. Homeowners, renters, businesses and private non-profit organizations can apply to borrow money with the SBA to help with the rebuilding process.

The Webster Parish Courthouse annex is located on 401 Main Street in Minden. The outreach center will be open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. The last day to visit the center will be Tuesday, March 3.

The deadline to apply for property damage is April 13 and the deadline to apply for economic injury is Nov. 12.

“What we encourage people to do is come as is," he said. "Come talk to us and our team that’s in the disaster recovery center. We’ll talk to you and talk to you about what the process is.”

Loans available at SBA

The SBA has set up a disaster recovery center inside the Webster Parish courthouse annex in Minden to try and help those affected by the tornado.

“A lot of times after a disaster you’ll find people are in a state of shock," said Kamar. "They don’t know where to even begin starting. A lot of folks find themselves not having enough insurance. Some people don’t have insurance.”

The SBA is able to provide assistance to those who were affected living in Bienville, Bossier, Claiborne and Webster parishes as well as Columbia and Lafayette counties in Southwest Arkansas.

The SBA will provide up to $2 million for business of all sizes and private non-profit organizations, and up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Loan outreach center opened by SBA

While Lucille still has a long road ahead, she’s still grateful to be alive and moving forward.

“When the Lord is with you, you don’t worry about what done happen and our life was spared that’s the most important thing," she said. "Our life was spared.”

Loans available through SBA

You can apply online HERE, and you can also print out mail the application to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center on 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76155.

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