U.S. Small Business Administration offers federal disaster loans to North Texas tornado victims

The U.S. Small Business Administration is now providing federal disaster loans to homeowners, renters and businesses that suffered damage during the October tornado outbreak in North Texas.

The assistance is available in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Kaufman, Rockwell and Tarrant counties.

The SBA took its own action to provide the loans after receiving a request from Gov. Greg Abbott.

As Frank Nuccio looks out over the fenced-in shopping center at Preston and Royal, he’s reminded of the long recovery process for My Family’s Pizza, his family restaurant that was destroyed by the tornado.

“It’s probably going to be a year before I can get reopened,” he said.

Nuccio says it’s possible he won’t be able to salvage anything from the restaurant, including the 60 plus year-old ovens.

“It’s kind of like a cast iron skillet,” he said. “It flavors over time, so that’s the one thing that I’m really going to miss is recovering those ovens that are there.”

Nuccio is one of many who now plans to seek a disaster loan through the SBA.

Access to the federal disaster loans were announced Thursday. Businesses and non-profits will be able to borrow up to $2 million. Homeowners can borrow up to $200,000 for repairs, and homeowners and renters can get up to $40,000 to replace property.

“If you have great credit and you have someone to borrow from, this is still going to be lower interest than you can get anywhere else,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

Jenkins says people should apply no matter their credit health to find out if they’re eligible.

“It can go to fixing your home, paying for rental expenses, fixing inventory for a small business that was destroyed, but you won’t know what’s available until you apply,” he said.

There’s hope it is one more financial tool people will use in the hardest hit areas

Although Chris Zarmakoupis doesn’t plan to apply for one, he hopes it helps bring his North Dallas neighborhood back.

“I think everybody is pretty motivated to come back and rebuild pretty quickly,” he said. “As long as you’re making incremental progress each and every day, that feels good.”

The state is still working with the federal government to provide more money and relief for tornado victims. FEMA workers continue to survey damage.

More information on the outreach center and where to apply can be found below:

Disaster Loan Outreach Center 
Bachman Lake Branch Library
9480 Webb Chapel Road
Dallas, TX 75220
Opens 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 18 
Mondays – Fridays, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 28-29

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications a thttps://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.