//Business Recovery Center opening at Valdosta/Lowndes Chamber of Commerce

Business Recovery Center opening at Valdosta/Lowndes Chamber of Commerce

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VALDOSTA/LOWNDES – Following the damage from Hurricane Idalia, a Business Recovery Center will be opening on Tuesday at the Valdosta Lowndes Chamber of Commerce.

Local Release:

A Business Recovery Center (BRC) will be opening on Tuesday, September 12th, at the Valdosta Lowndes Chamber of Commerce, 416 N Ashley St., Valdosta, GA  31601.  The hours on Tuesday will be Noon to 6 PM, and after that, it will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 PM every day except Sunday.  There are a lot of guidelines that go into determining whether a person or business is eligible for a disaster loan and if they are what the terms are.  Individuals are encouraged to apply for assistance with both FEMA and SBA, so they do not have to pick one or the other. FEMA does not usually provide enough assistance to cover all of their losses, so even if they receive funding through the FEMA Individual Assistance (IA) program, a low-interest SBA loan may help to bridge the gap with any remaining needs.


WASHINGTON – Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available to businesses and residents in Georgia following the announcement of a Presidential disaster declaration due to damages from Hurricane Idalia that occurred on Aug. 30, 2023.

“SBA’s mission-driven team stands ready to help Georgia small businesses and residents impacted by this
disaster in every way possible under President Biden’s disaster declaration for certain affected areas,” said
SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “We’re committed to providing federal disaster loans swiftly
and efficiently, with a customer-centric approach to help businesses and communities recover and rebuild.”

The disaster declaration covers Cook, Glynn, and Lowndes counties in Georgia, which are eligible for both
Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit
organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs): Berrien, Brantley, Brooks, Camden, Colquitt, Echols, Lanier, McIntosh, Tift, and Wayne in Georgia; and Hamilton and Madison in Florida.

Disaster survivors should not wait to settle with their insurance company before applying for a disaster loan. If a survivor does not know how much of their loss will be covered by insurance or other sources, SBA can make a low-interest disaster loan for the total loss up to its loan limits, provided the borrower agrees to use insurance proceeds to reduce or repay the loan.

A Business Recovery Center (BRC) will open at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, September 12 at the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce in Valdosta, Georgia. SBA Customer Service Representatives at the Center will assist business owners and residents in filling out a disaster loan application, accept documents for existing applications, and provide updates on an application’s status. The center will operate as indicated below until further notice:
Business Recovery Center
Lowndes County
Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce
16 N Ashley St.
Valdosta, GA 31602
Opening: Tuesday, Sept. 12, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed: Sundays

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size 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. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Disaster loans up to $500,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster-damaged or
destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $100,000 to repair or replace disasterdamaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates are as low as 4% for businesses, 2.375% for nonprofit organizations, and 2.5% 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.

Interest does not begin to accrue until 12 months from the date of the initial disaster loan disbursement.
SBA disaster loan repayment begins 12 months from the date of the first disbursement.

Building back smarter and stronger can be an effective recovery tool for future disasters. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase of up to 20% 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 disasters. “The opportunity to include measures to help prevent future damage from occurring is a significant benefit
of SBA’s disaster loan program,” said SBA Associate Administrator Francisco Sanchez, Jr. “I encourage everyone to consult their contractors and emergency management mitigation specialists for ideas and apply for an SBA disaster loan increase for funding.”

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at
https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/ and should apply under SBA declaration # 18143.
To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable,
applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.

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 DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. 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 Nov. 6, 2023. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 7, 2024.