MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Small Business Administration is open to help residents and business owners affected by the Christmas Day tornado.
Businesses and non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets according to officials.
Sahmi Farkh says his building is one of many damaged by the twister.
"It's just destruction everywhere. A fireplace somehow came and hit my building upstairs from another building over there. I'm not sure where it came from," said Sahmi Farkh moments after the twister hit Tuesday, December 25.
Farkh's gift shop and salon were both damaged in the storm. When the skies cleared, he and his family began picking up the pieces and had more hope about the future.
"It looked really bad before, because we had rust falling from the ceiling but people have come and fixed things. So it looks back like it was, thank God," Farkh said.
It's just the beginning for Farkh as he pieces his building back together. He still has a lot of work to do and is hoping to open back up sometime in the near future.
Farkh isn't going to be utilizing the SBA to help his business get back up and running, but others are taking advantage of the SBA.
Marcus and Jemini Lockett said their home was badly damaged by the December 25 tornado and it is now condemned.
"The right wall was actually separated from the house, you can see the wall almost about to fall down, the roof caved in, the pillars are totally gone, it's bad," Marcus said.
Now they're looking for a new place to call home and they're hoping the SBA can help them out.
The SBA offers loans to renters, homeowners, businesses, private and non-profit organizations of all sizes.
So what are the credit requirements?
You must have a credit history acceptable to SBA, show ability to repay all loans, and have some form of collateral for physical loss loans greater than $14,000 dollars.
Interest rates vary depending on credit availability elsewhere.
According to an SBA fact sheet, help is available for refinancing and relocating.
"Maybe if they give us a loan, maybe we can purchase a home this time because we were renting before so I was glad to see they were doing it for renters also," said Marcus.
If you can't meet with a representative in person, you can always apply for a loan online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) by clicking here .
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is March 11, 2013. The deadline to return economic injury applications is October 10, 2013.
The Mobile SBA address location is:
Western Administrative Complex
4851 Museum Drive, Mobile
- Hours: Tuesday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Saturday, Jan. 19 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
- Closed: Sunday, Jan. 20 - Monday, Jan. 21 in observance of MLK Day
- Closing: Thursday, Jan. 24 at close of business
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