WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- North Carolina residents and businesses affected by severe storms and flooding on Jan. 30 can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills announced today.
Administrator Mills made the loans available in response to a letter from Gov. Pat McCrory on Feb. 12, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Watauga County and the adjacent counties of Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and Wilkes in North Carolina and Johnson County in Tennessee.
"The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of North Carolina with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes with federal disaster loans," said Administrator Mills. "Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.""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 Frank Skaggs, director of SBA's Field Operations Center East in Atlanta. SBA's Customer Service Representatives are available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program, explain the process and help individuals complete their applications. The Center is located in the following community and is open as indicated: Watauga County Watauga County Administration Building First Floor Conference Room 111 814 West King Street Boone, NC 28607 Opening: Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 9 a.m. Hours: Wednesday, Feb. 20 – Friday, Feb. 22 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Closing: Saturday, Feb. 23 at close of business "Businesses and non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets," said Lynn Douthett, SBA's North Carolina district director. The SBA may increase a loan up to 20 percent of the total amount of disaster damage to real estate and/or leasehold improvements, as verified by SBA, to make improvements that lessen the risk of property damage by future disasters of the same kind.