- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved Gov. Phil Bryant’s request for disaster assistance in Marion County.

Officials say residents, businesses and non-profit groups affected by severe storms and tornadoes that occurred on Dec. 23 are eligible to apply for low-interest loans for recovery.

The declaration covers Marion County and the adjacent counties of Lamar, Lawrence, Jefferson Davis, Pearl River and Walthall.

The SBA will open a Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Marion County at the Exposition Center in Columbia. Staff from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the SBA will be available to assist with completing their applications. The center will open Thursday at 8 a.m.

Applicants can also apply at online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela, by calling 1-800-659-2955 or by emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan applications can also be downloaded from the SBA’s website at www.sba.gov.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is March 23. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Oct. 20.

Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Loans to businesses of all sizes and non-profit organizations will be available to repair damage to real estate, machinery, equipment and inventory.

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