Disaster relief funds available

Published 5:33 pm Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Residents affected by the April tornadoes in Beaufort County have until Thursday evening to apply for a low interest loan or grant.

The North Carolina Small Business Administration (NCSBA) Disaster Financial Assistance Center is closing at 6 p.m. tomorrow.  The center is located inside the Beaufort County Health Department at 1436 Highland Drive in Washington.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering the low interest loans to homeowners, tenants and business owners. Businesses include property owners and landlords.

According to a press release from the office of emergency services, homeowners and renters will need to show identification and proof of residency in the form of a utility bill or lease.  Businesses that incurred damages or loss of product or revenues as a result of the tornados may also apply for assistance.

“People who are insured, they need to make sure they were insured to cover their loss,” said Lisa Respess, emergency services specialist. “If they aren’t insured to cover their loss, they can come in and apply for the SBA low interest loan or the North Carolina Emergency Management grant money to make up the difference.”

Homeowners can get a loan up to $240,000, renters $40,000 and business owners $2 million dollars.

The business owners can receive the grant or loan if they have had property damage or a loss of income, according to Respess.

If people get turned down for a loan, the next process is applying for a grant through the state.

“They apply (for a grant) with the North Carolina Emergency Management,” said Respess. “If they are eligible, they will receive grant money, and of course grant money does not have to be repaid.”

Approximately 120 homes and businesses were damaged in the storms and only about 55 people have applied for grants and loans, Respess said.

For more information, call Beaufort County Emergency Services at 252-946-2046.


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