A disaster recovery center will open its doors in Mayflower on Sunday to provide resources to Faulkner County flood victims.
The center opens officially at 1 p.m. Sunday and will remain open until 5 p.m.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be onsite at the Mayflower Tornado Shelter, located behind the elementary school by First Security Bank at 4 Grove St. Officials said the center will remain open next week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1-5 p.m. Sunday.
The U.S. Small Business Administration will also be onsite.
“SBA offers low interest, government loans to businesses of all sizes, homeowners, renters and private, nonprofits including churches,” SBA spokesman Cynthia Cowell.
FEMA often refers homeowners and renters affected by disasters to SBA, Cowell said. However, she said she still encourages everyone who suffered damages through the flood to apply for FEMA assistance.
By not applying with both FEMA and SBA, Cowell said flood victims “would be cutting themselves off from a lot if they decide ‘I just don’t want a loan’ and they don’t fill it out.”
“If you are a homeowner or renter, FEMA may refer you to SBA,” she said. “SBA disaster loans are the primary source of money to pay for repair or replacement costs not fully covered by insurance or other compensation.”
Homeowners are able to borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their homes. They can also borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property, including vehicles.
Local businesses are also able to apply for disaster loans. However, the interest rate for businesses is higher than for individuals.
Homeowners and renters with no other load capabilities have 30 years to pay off the borrowed funds a 1.938% interest. Homeowners and renters who have other credit sources would have a 3.875% interest rate.
Business loans are accompanied by a 4% interest rate. However, businesses that have other loans and need want to apply for a SBA loan as well would have an 8% interest rate. For nonprofit organizations, the interest rate starts out at 2.75%.
Businesses can be approved for up to $2 million.
If approved, the federal funds will directly be allocated to the homeowner or business applicant. Cowell said that SBA loans are offered at low rates so that disaster victims can afford to recover.
“Our goal is to get people into the condition they were the day before the floods happened,” she told the Log Cabin Democrat. “That’s why we offer some pretty big loans. We also offer what’s called mitigation assistance. That’s on top of you loan to do things like raise your house or even just raise your utilities. A lot of people lost their utilities because they’re in the basement. We can help with that.”
The approval process for a SBA loan takes three to six weeks for homeowners and renters. For business owners, it could “take a little bit longer, but everybody’s different,” Cowell said.
There are three ways to apply for a SBA loan:
• Online at www.disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
• In person at a disaster recovery center.
• By mail by sending a paper application to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
Residents and businesses can also check their application status online at any time.