BOWIE COUNTY, Texas (KSLA) - Many Texas businesses and residents are now eligible to receive low-interest federal disaster loans through the U.S. Small Business Association after President Joe Biden’s major disaster declaration.
The declaration covers 126 counties, including Bowie, Gregg, Harrison, Nacogdoches, Panola, Rusk, Sabine, Shelby, and Upshur as a result of the severe winter storms that started Thursday, Feb. 11.
“SBA is strongly committed to providing Texas with the most effective and customer-focused response possible and with access to federal disaster loans to help businesses and residents affected by this disaster,” said U.S. Small Business Administration’s acting Administrator Tami L. Perriello. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”
Starting Tuesday, Feb. 23, SBA established a Virtual Business Recovery Center to provide assistance to business owners. There will also be a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center to help homeowners and renters. Representatives will be available to answer any questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete applications.
The Virtual Business Recovery Center and Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center are available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can contact them by email at FOCWAssistance@sba.org or by phone at 800-659-2955.
Businesses and nonprofits can borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory and other business assets. Additional funding can be secured through SBA to cover improvements to protect the same type of disaster damage in the future.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to help meet capital needs caused by the winter storm. These loans are available regardless of property damages.
Homeowners may get a disaster loan of up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged real estate. Loans of up to $40,000 are available to renters and homeowners to replace personal property.
Businesses can see interest rates as low as 3 percent, 2 percent for nonprofits and 1.25 percent for homeowners and renters with 30 year terms. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
The 126 counties are: Anderson, Angelina, Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Bosque, Bowie, Brazoria, Brazos, Brown, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Cherokee, Collin, Colorado, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Ellis, Erath, Falls, Fannin, Fort Bend, Freestone, Galveston, Gillespie, Gonzales, Grayson, Gregg, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hill, Hood, Houston, Hunt, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Johnson, Jones, Kaufman, Kendall, Lavaca, Liberty, Limestone, Lubbock, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Medina, Milam, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Rockwall, Rusk, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Taylor, Tom Green, Travis, Tyler, Upshur, Val Verde, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Wharton, Wichita, Williamson, Wilson, Wise, and Wood.
Additional counties added Thursday, Feb. 25, include Atascosa, Bandera, Brooks, Duval, Eastland, Ector, Goliad, Howard, Jim Hogg, Karnes, Kleberg, Leon, Llano, Newton, Robertson, Trinity, Webb, and Willacy.