U.S. Small Business Administration grants Isaias-related disaster declaration

Jovita Carranza, administrator of the Small Business Administration, speaks before a House Small Business Committee hearing on oversight of the Small Business Administration and Department of Treasury pandemic programs on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, July 17, 2020. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)

RALEIGH – 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 Gov. Cooper. “This is the first step to getting assistance for North Carolinians, and we will continue to push for more.” 

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 will open in Windsor in Bertie County on Monday, for survivors to apply for SBA Disaster Loans and other assistance.  

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans to 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.

Travel trailers are being prepared this week 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.