Assistance Available To Watauga Residents Impacted By Recent Storms

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RALEIGH Governor Roy Cooper today announced that financial assistance is available through the U.S. Small Business Administration for residents affected by storms that struck Watauga and surrounding counties last month. This SBA disaster declaration makes low-interest loans available to home and business owners and renters in those areas. Governor Cooper requested this federal assistance in a letter to the SBA last week.

“When a strong line of storms moved across our state, these counties were hit hard with winds and water,” said Governor Cooper. “These communities and their residents expended considerable resources trying to clean up from the storm, and this declaration and these loans will help speed recovery.”

High winds, tornadoes and floods struck these western counties on Oct. 23, downing trees, damaging homes and buildings and leaving extensive flooding in Boone. While Watauga was the only county that met the threshold for SBA assistance, residents and business owners in the surrounding counties of Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and Wilkes can also apply for the federal assistance.

A U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Outreach Center will open Tuesday at this location:

Watauga County Emergency Operations Center
184 Hodges Gap Road – Building D
Boone, NC 28607

Opening: Tuesday, Nov. 28; 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Days: Weekdays, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Hours: Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (closed Sunday)
Closing: Tuesday, Dec. 5; 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The application deadline for these loans is Jan. 22, 2018.

Loans up to $200,000 are available through the SBA to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed structures. Homeowners and renters also are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property such as clothing, appliances, etc.

Businesses and nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million for physical damage.

Working capital loans are also available to small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations. Interest rates are as low as 1.75 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations and 3.385 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

State disaster declaration supplements SBA program

Governor Cooper also signed a Type I State Disaster Declaration for Watauga, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and Wilkes counties. This declaration allows for individual assistance grants to homeowners who do not meet the qualifications for the low-interest federal SBA loans. These state grants can provide assistance in repairing damaged homes and replacement of personal property.

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