flooding clean upResidents of Fulton and DeKalb counties have until Nov. 23 to file applications for physical damage to homes, personal property and businesses caused by the September flooding.

There is a June 24, 2010 deadline to apply for Economic Injury relief to help small businesses, non-profits and farms in the economic recovery period.

Whether you rent or own your own home, own your own business, or own a small agricultural cooperative located in a declared disaster area, and are the victim of a disaster, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

What Types of Disaster Loans are Available?

Home Disaster Loans: Loans to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster damaged real estate or personal property owned by the victim.  Renters are eligible for their personal property losses, including automobiles.

Business Physical Disaster Loans: Loans to businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible. Private, non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc., are also eligible.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs): Working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster.  These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period. EIDL assistance is available only to entities and their owners who cannot provide for their own recovery from non- government sources, as determined by the SBA.

What are Mitigation Loans?

If your loan application is approved, you may be eligible for additional funds to cover the cost of improvements that will protect your property against future damage. Examples of improvements include retaining walls, seawalls, sump pumps, etc.

What are the Credit Requirements?

Credit History: Applicants must have a credit history acceptable to SBA.
Repayment: Applicants must show the ability to repay all loans.
Collateral: Collateral is required for physical loss loans over $14,000 and all EIDL loans over $5,000.  SBA takes real estate as collateral when it is available. SBA will not decline a loan for lack of collateral, but requires you to pledge what is available.

What are the interest rates?

By law, the interest rates depend on whether each applicant has credit available elsewhere. An applicant does not have credit available elsewhere when SBA determines the applicant does not have sufficient funds or other resources, or the ability to borrow from non-government sources, to provide for its own disaster recovery.

What are loan terms?

The maximum term is 30 years. However, the law restricts businesses with credit available elsewhere to three years.

For more information and details about SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visit


Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.