Tornado victims may be eligible for Small Business Administration Loans

Owning a small business isn't a requirement for an SBA Disaster Assistance Loan

PONTOTOC COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – When most people hear Small Business Administration, they naturally think of business loans.

But the SBA is also there in the aftermath of disasters providing loans for homeowners and renters to rebuild or replace belongings.

And you don’t have to be a small business owner to qualify.

Tornado victims applying for assistance from FEMA may be confused when they get an email instructing them to apply for an SBA Disaster Loan.

“They initially say, ‘Wait a minute, I’m not a business’, so this is another reason why we want to get this message out, complete the process,” said Anita Steenson, who is part of the team of SBA representatives helping tornado victims. Steenson said SBA disaster assistance loans are available to homeowners and renters in affected areas. An applicant does not have to own a business.

Low-interest loans of up to $200,000 are available for homeowners, and up to $40,000 for renters or homeowners who need to replace personal property.

And just because you’re approved, it doesn’t mean you have to accept the loan.

“You have six months, you may be in a different situation in six months,” Steenson said.

Even if an applicant is denied an SBA Disaster loan, all is not lost. It could open up the possibility of assistance from other government agencies.

“A denial is very important for people to get access to the full circle of resources and that includes additional FEMA grants, a denial is often required for people to get additional FEMA grants,” she said.

Steenson said the SBA will be in the area for five months to help tornado victims.

“The main message the U.S. SBA wants Mississippians to know, is we see you,” Steenson said.

Steenson encouraged anyone with questions to go online or call the SBA’s customer service center.

For a link to the SBA Disaster Loan application website, or the hotline, go to

The number to call is (800)659-2955 or you can email for more information.

For 24/7 news and updates, follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Categories: Featured, Local News