10/10/17 — County residents approved for third-highest amount from SBA

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County residents approved for third-highest amount from SBA

By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on October 10, 2017 5:50 AM

Wayne County residents have been approved to receive the third-highest amount of U.S. Small Business Administration loans in the state to help with Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts.

The federal program, which works hand-in-hand with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in major disaster areas, approved more than $9.9 million in loan assistance for homeowners, renters, business owners and nonprofits in the county, said Matthew Young, SBA public affairs specialist, based in Atlanta.

"That money was approved for people to take advantage of for their recovery," Young said.

Early on, just one month after Hurricane Matthew left widespread damage in 2016, residents were receiving SBA loans, Young said.

At the time, in November, residents were provided with more than $3 million in SBA loan assistance.

"There were dollars that were made available," Young said. "When we were back in North Carolina, people were getting the money."

The SBA loan application process, now closed in relation to Hurricane Matthew, led to the total loan approval of more than $9.9 million in Wayne County.

Cumberland County received the greatest share, nearly $23.6 million, and followed by Robeson County, at almost $21.3 million. The two counties make up almost half of the total amount approved in North Carolina. Statewide, the SBA has approved $102.6 million in SBA loan assistance.

The SBA has offered 216 home loans -- $7.5 million -- to Wayne County homeowners and renters. The SBA has also approved 41 business loans totaling close to $2.5 million in the county.

"The great thing about our disaster loan program is that it offers loans at a low interest rate and the terms are that they can go 30 years, so they can recover," Young said. "The loans are made affordable so people can recover from the damages."

The SBA provides up to $200,000 to homeowners for structural damages and up to $40,000 for personal property losses, including vehicles. Renters can also receive up to $40,000, which covers expenses related to personal property. The loans are provided up to 30 years with interest rates as low as 1.5 percent.

Businesses and nonprofits can receive up to $2 million, with interest rates as low as 2.6 percent for nonprofits and 4 percent for businesses.

Applicants approved for an SBA loan have eight to 10 months to decide if they want to accept the loan, and the first loan payment is delayed until five months after agreeing to the terms.

"A lot of people don't necessarily plan for a weather event," Young said. "We offer the business, homeowner and nonprofit loans so the community, as a whole, can come back and recover."