Tornado damage SBA loan applications due March 17

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The US Small Business Association (SBA) says it’s important for those impacted by the Jan. 12 storm to return loan applications, even if they don’t intend to accept the loan.

When tornado survivors apply for disaster assistance from FEMA, they are often referred to SBA for information about potentially receiving a loan to repair damages or for economic injury.

Disaster victims are encouraged to follow through when they receive emails from SBA with a disaster loan application because it can help survivors receive federal assistance even if they don’t want or need a loan.

If loan applications are approved, applicants are not obligated to accept an SBA disaster loan but completing the application may make you eligible for other FEMA assistance, such as disaster-related car repairs, essential household items and other expenses.

SBA Public Affairs Specialist Vivian Santos-Rodriguez said that storm victims should apply for the loans because if they are determined to be ineligible due to their inability to repay them, SBA will refer them back to FEMA for its Other Needs Assistance Program.

SBA disaster loans are the largest source of federal disaster recovery funds for survivors, even beyond FEMA.

SBA has already approved more than $2 million in low-interest recovery loans due to the storm, Santos said.

“If FEMA refers you to the SBA, please complete the loan application. SBA recommends not waiting for the insurance settlement because in most cases you will get our loan funds sooner,” Santos said. “SBA also encourages survivors, business owners and private non-profits to take advantage of our disaster loans with no interest and no payments for the first year.”

SBA suggests that those affected by the storm give themselves the widest possible set of options by completing the disaster loan application.

“Completing the application makes it possible for you to be considered for additional grants, and if you qualify for a loan, you will have that resource available if you choose to use it,” said the SBA in a press release.

Homeowners can be eligible to borrow up to $200,000 from SBA to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters may also borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property.
Businesses can borrow up to $2 million for property damage or working capital through an Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

Applicants can apply online at or via telephone at (800) 659-2955. Storm victims can also apply by visiting the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center at the William J. Griggs Recreation Center on Glenn Robertson Dr. in LaGrange.

The deadline to return SBA loan applications for property damage is March 17, 2023. The deadline to return applications for economic injury is Oct. 16, 2023.