Texas Gov. Rick Perry has asked the Small Business Administration (SBA) to declare Jasper County a disaster area as a result of severe storms, wind and tornadoes that struck the county on Nov. 23.
If the SBA declaration request is granted, individuals and businesses in Jasper County will be eligible to apply for low-interest SBA disaster loans. Homeowners would be able to borrow up to $200,000 and businesses up to $1.5 million to repair or replace property damaged in the storms. The loans are offered at low interest rates for terms of up to 30 years.
Perry also is asking the Office of Rural and Community Affairs (ORCA) to provide assistance to Jasper County. Upon request from the governor, qualifying communities with populations less than 50,000 and counties with populations less than 200,000 are eligible to receive up to $350,000 in emergency ORCA grants, which can be used for infrastructure losses.
The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management has been working with local officials in conducting joint damage assessments in Jasper. Preliminary damage surveys show that more than 25 homes or businesses have suffered more than 40 percent damage and that damage is not insured. Damage assessments in other affected counties are continuing.
If Jasper County is declared a disaster area by the SBA, homeowners and businesses in the contiguous counties of Angelina, Hardin, Newton, Orange, Sabine, San Augustine and Tyler also would be able to seek SBA assistance.
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