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SBA officials in Atmore

By Staff
Kerry Whipple Bean
Small Business Association officials have some advice for those affected by last month’s flood: “Don’t be afraid of the word ‘loan.’”
That’s what SBA spokesman Richard Daigle advised business owners ahead of the group’s meetings this week in Brewton with affected merchants.
If business owners are approved for a loan, they can still reject the funds, Daigle said. But if they miss the deadline, they won’t have the opportunity for assistance.
SBA officials were in Atmore last week and will continue their meetings at the Atmore Public Library today until 1 p.m. They will be in Brewton Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the emergency management office in the Escambia County Courthouse.
Daigle said interest rates could be as low as 2.5 percent on the loans.
SBA workers Daphene Graham and Beth Baldree were in Atmore last week to help business owners and homeowners fill out applications for loans.
Baldree said applications will be filed and processed quickly.
Applicant Cynthia Cooper of Atmore said she wasn’t sure how the loan would help.
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.
Individuals and businesses unable to visit one of the centers in person may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired). Alabama residents affected by the severe storms and flooding may apply for disaster loans from SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
The filing deadline for physical property damage is March 1. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Sept. 29.
Chandler Myers contributed to this report.