HOUSTON COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – The Houston County Small Business Administration Disaster Center has been helping locals get back up on their feet after a tornado went through Crockett.
James Hall was one of the many Crockett residents that had his home and property damaged after a tornado tore through on March 21.
“Have patience,” said Hall. “You can’t do it all overnight.”
Hall’s roof and windows were damaged and he was fortunate to have insurance, however, he did lose two rental homes.
“The insurance was so high on them that I did the math and I would have been buying a house again,” said Hall.
This is where the Small Business Administration comes in to help make sure people don’t lose their homes or businesses by offering low-interest loans to homeowners, renters and businesses.
Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations can borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory as well as other business assets.
The SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.
“If they are approved for a loan, that would be an option for them,” said Louise Porter, Public Information Officer of the U.S. Small Business Association. “They would have time to decide whether or not they wanted to accept that and it can help them with their recovery and getting back to normal.”
Houston County’s District Loan Outreach Center is located at the Crockett Civic Center in the economic and industrial development board room at 1100 Edmiston Drive. The center is open from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The center will close on Thursday, May 26 at 6 p.m.
“People can come down here to the Crockett civic center and meet with a disaster recovery specialist or they can go online disasterloanassistance.sba.gov,” said Porter.
Those who are waiting for insurance, can still come in and apply.
“The damage in this county was deemed to be high enough that it got this declaration, and now the nice thing is that all the contiguous counties around Houston County are also eligible. So, any county that touches Houston County is also eligible for this program,” said Porter.
“Don’t lose faith in your faith because you can make it,” said Hall.