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SBA disaster office opens today

By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
Dec. 28, 2000
A U.S. Small Business Administration disaster relief office will open in Meridian today to serve homeowners and businesses damaged by the recent tornado.
The disaster office will be located at the Lauderdale Emergency Management Agency, 1319 23rd Ave.
Lauderdale, Clarke, Jasper, Kemper, Neshoba and Newton counties all qualified for the federal assistance.
On Dec. 16, a strong storm system with high winds and rain lashed the region, spawning off a tornado that severely damaged more than 100 homes in Lauderdale County alone.
The SBA will be making long term, low interest rate loans available for victims of the disaster in order to replace or repair any damage they sustained.
Young said both homeowners and business owners who had property damage that was either uninsured or underinsured will be entitled to the relief.
Michael C. Allen, SBA disaster area director, said officials will be on hand to take applications and answer questions.
The SBA disaster office will be open daily except for Sunday, Dec. 31 and Monday, Jan. 1. After the New Year's Day holiday, the SBA offices will remain open daily, except on weekends, until further notice.
Young said renters who suffered damage would be eligible for up to $40,000 in loans to cover lost personal belongings. Up to $200,000 will be made available to homeowners to repair homes and they would also qualify for $40,000 to cover lost personal property.
Non-profit organizations and businesses would be eligible for up to $1.5 million for damaged equipment or structural repair. In addition business owners can qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans to pay bills that can't be met.
The deadline to apply for damage applications is Feb. 23, 2001 and the deadline for economic injury applications is Sept. 24, 2001.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at balexander@themeridianstar.com.

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