FEMA workshops offer help filling out SBA loan applications



Residents of Blount County and 42 other counties in Alabama designated for FEMA assistance following disasters suffered in spring tornadoes are eligible for SBA loans with rates as low as 2.563 percent regardless of income. But even though they don’t want SBA loans, they must return the SBA loan applications in order to be eligible for other federal assistance.

Survivors who need help filling out U.S. Small Business Administration loan applications are urged to attend a disaster information workshop where trained volunteers are available to assist them.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s community relations teams are reaching out to survivors in areas reporting the fewest number of loan application returns through these workshops.

“FEMA is working within the neighborhood partnership and with faith-based and community-based organizations and businesses, along with voluntary agencies to target areas where few applications were returned to SBA,” according to federal coordinating officer Michael F. Byrne. “The teams are scheduling more of these workshops, and they will have volunteers available who can provide help to survivors filling out applications.”

The community relations teams are going door to door, encouraging survivors to return their SBA loan applications, inviting them to the workshops, and handing out flyers.

July 7 workshops include the following:

Dekalb County, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fyffe Church of God, 778 Main St., Fyffe, AL 35971.

Jefferson County, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Mt. Moriah Baptist Church Gymnasium, 306 Ave. U, Pratt City, Birmingham, AL 35214.

Marion County, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Liberty Free Will Baptist Church, 1124 County Rd. 37, Guin, AL 35563.

Marshall County, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., First Baptist Church of Arab, 502 N. Main Street, Arab, AL 35016.

Madison County, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m, Macedonia Primitive Baptist Church, 13376 Dupree-Worthy Rd., Harvest, AL 35749. Other ways to get help completing loan applications

Survivors can also call the SBA toll free at 800-659-2955 or (800-877-8339 TTY).

“Customer service representatives can talk survivors through the application process over the phone or answer any questions they might have,” said SBA public affairs specialist Richard Daigle.

Survivors can also go to the website and download applications at sba.gov. They can visit SBA’s secure website at https:// DisasterLoan.SBA.gov/ELA to apply online. More FEMA help

FEMA’s mission is to support citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency. or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA tollfree at 800-621-FEMA (3362). If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585 directly; if you use 711 or Video Relay Service ( VRS), call 800-621-3362.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies. or applications.

FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

For more information on Alabama’s disaster recovery, visit www.fema.gov or www.ema.alabama.gov/.

For the joint Facebook page, go to facebook.com/AlabamaEMA. To receive Twitter updates: twitter.com/AlabamaEMA or twitter.com/femaregion4.