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U.S. Small Business Administration issues disaster declaration for tornado damage

The U.S. Small Business Administration granted Gov. Roy Cooper’s request for a disaster declaration for small businesses and homeowners facing damage from a tornado that struck as Hurricane Isaias passed through the state on Aug. 4.

“With a tornado on top of a pandemic, this SBA approval will provide much-needed help to our small businesses and homeowners,” said Cooper.

The declaration authorizes low-interest disaster loans to residents and businesses who suffered losses in Bertie County and the contiguous counties of Chowan, Halifax, Hertford, Martin, Northampton and Washington. SBA disaster loans provide up to $200,000 to homeowners and up to $2 million to businesses to repair and/or replace damaged property. Homeowners and renters would also be eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged personal property.

A disaster recovery center opened in Windsor in Bertie County on Monday, Aug. 24 for survivors to apply for SBA disaster loans and other assistance. Residents needing assistance should call 252-794-6144 to make an appointment so that social distancing can be maintained in the recovery center.

Residents may also apply online using the electronic loan application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ or via telephone at 202-803-3307 or 470-363-5936.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans are also available to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available to businesses regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Recovery center location is Bertie County Council of Aging Building, 103 School Street

Windsor. The center is open Monday, August 24 – Thursday September 3 on weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Call 252-794-6144 to schedule an appointment.

Travel trailers are being prepared to provide temporary housing for some Bertie County families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the tornado.

Hurricane Isaias also caused extensive damages in Brunswick County, where the storm made landfall. Damage assessments there are ongoing and decisions will be made soon about requesting state or federal disaster declarations for those communities.

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