Smoky Mountain Wildfire Disaster Assistance


Release Date:  Feb. 15, 2017
Release Number: 17-320, TN 15014/15015       

Contact:  Michael Lampton
Phone:  (404) 331-0333

SBA Closes Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Tennessee for Holiday; Center Closes Permanently on Feb. 27

 ATLANTA – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today that the Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Gatlinburg, Tennessee will close for the President’s Day Holiday on Monday,
Feb. 20 and will close permanently at 3 p.m., Monday, Feb. 27, 2017

SBA representatives at the Center can provide information about disaster loans, answer questions and help survivors in completing the SBA application.  The Center is located as indicated below:

Sevier County

Citizens National Bank Building
(Former United Way Office)
906 East Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Closed:       Monday, Feb. 20         
Opens:     Tuesday, Feb. 21, 8 a.m.
Closed:     Saturdays and Sundays
Closes:     Monday, Feb. 27, 3 p.m. 

Additional information on the disaster loan program may be obtained by calling SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to  Loan applications can be downloaded from  Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage was Feb. 13, 2017.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is Sept. 15, 2017.

For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program, visit our website at

U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Declaration # 15014 & #15015

WASHINGTON –(December 15, 2016) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to the state of Tennessee to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by wildfires during the period of November 28 to December 9, 2016.

The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Sevier county.  Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.     

Federal funding is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in Sevier County.

Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Michael Moore has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Moore said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.  

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance tomorrow (December 16, 2016) by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).  Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice. 

Dates of Incident Occurrence:

November 28, 2015 – December 9, 2016


Incident Information:

Disaster Declaration #15014 & #15015

Tennessee Disaster #: TN-00099

Incident Type: Wildfires

Agency: U.S. Small Business Administration

Action: Notice

Summary: This is a Notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for the State of Tennessee (FEMA – 4293 – DR), dated 12/15/2016

Counties Affected:

Primary Counties (Physical Damage & Economic Injury Loans):


Contiguous Counties (Economic Injury Loans Only):

Tennessee: Blount, Knox, Cocke, Jefferson
North Carolina: Haywood, Swain

For Further Information Contact:

A Escobar, Office of Disaster Assistance
U.S. Small Business Administration
409 3rd Street, SW, Suite 6050
Washington, DC 20416


Application Filing Deadlines:

Physical Damage: February 13, 2017
Economic Injury: September 15, 2017

The interest rates for these loans are as follows: 

For Physical Damage: 

Homeowners with credit available elsewhere 3.000%
Homeowners without credit available elsewhere 1.500%
Businesses with credit available elsewhere 6.250%
Businesses without credit available elsewhere 3.125%
Non-profit organizations with credit available elsewhere 2.500%
Non-profit organizations without credit available elsewhere 2.500%

For Economic Injury: 

Businesses & small agricultural cooperatives without credit available elsewhere 3.125%
Non-profit organizations without credit available elsewhere 2.500%

Submit Complete Loan Applications:

U.S. Small Business Administration
Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Rd
Fort Worth, TX 76155

Loan Information

If you are located in a declared disaster area, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

What Types of Disaster Loans are Available?

  • Business Physical Disaster Loans – Loans to businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible. Private, non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc., are also eligible.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) – Working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period.
  • Home Disaster Loans – Loans to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and personal property, including automobiles.

What are the Credit Requirements?

  • Credit History – Applicants must have a credit history acceptable to SBA.
  • Repayment – Applicants must show the ability to repay all loans.
  • Collateral – Collateral is required for physical loss loans over $25,000 and all EIDL loans over $25,000. SBA takes real estate as collateral when it is available. SBA will not decline a loan for lack of collateral, but requires you to pledge what is available.

What are the Interest Rates?

By law, the interest rates depend on whether each applicant has Credit Available Elsewhere. An applicant does not have Credit Available Elsewhere when SBA determines the applicant does not have sufficient funds or other resources, or the ability to borrow from non-government sources, to provide for its own disaster recovery. An applicant, which SBA determines to have the ability to provide for his or her own recovery is deemed to have Credit Available Elsewhere. Interest rates are fixed for the term of the loan. The interest rates applicable for this disaster are:

  No Credit Available Elsewhere Credit Available Elsewhere
Business Loans 3.125% 6.250%
Non-Profit Organization Loans 2.500% 2.500%
Economic Injury Loans    
   Businesses and Small Agricultural Cooperatives 3.125% N/A
   Non-Profit Organizations 2.500% N/A
Home Loans 1.500% 3.000%

What are Loan Terms?

The law authorizes loan terms up to a maximum of 30 years. However, the law restricts businesses with credit available elsewhere to a maximum 7-year term. SBA sets the installment payment amount and corresponding maturity based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

What are the Loan Amount Limits?

  • Business Loans – The law limits business loans to $2,000,000 for the repair or replacement of real estate, inventories, machinery, equipment and all other physical losses. Subject to this maximum, loan amounts cannot exceed the verified uninsured disaster loss.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) – The law limits EIDLs to $2,000,000 for alleviating economic injury caused by the disaster. The actual amount of each loan is limited to the economic injury determined by SBA, less business interruption insurance and other recoveries up to the administrative lending limit. EIDL assistance is available only to entities and their owners who cannot provide for their own recovery from non-government sources, as determined by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
  • Business Loan Ceiling – The $2,000,000 statutory limit for business loans applies to the combination of physical, economic injury, mitigation and refinancing, and applies to all disaster loans to a business and its affiliates for each disaster. If a business is a major source of employment, SBA has the authority to waive the $2,000,000 statutory limit.
  • Home Loans – SBA regulations limit home loans to $200,000 for the repair or replacement of real estate and $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. Subject to these maximums, loan amounts cannot exceed the verified uninsured disaster loss.

What Restrictions are there on Loan Eligibility?

  • Uninsured Losses – Only uninsured or otherwise uncompensated disaster losses are eligible. Any insurance proceeds which are required to be applied against outstanding mortgages are not available to fund disaster repairs and do not reduce loan eligibility. However, any insurance proceeds voluntarily applied to any outstanding mortgages do reduce loan eligibility.
  • Ineligible Property – Secondary homes, personal pleasure boats, airplanes, recreational vehicles and similar property are not eligible, unless used for business purposes. Property such as antiques and collections are eligible only to the extent of their functional value. Amounts for landscaping, swimming pools, etc., are limited.
  • Noncompliance – Applicants who have not complied with the terms of previous SBA loans may not be eligible. This includes borrowers who did not maintain flood and/or hazard insurance on previous SBA loans.

Note: Loan applicants should check with agencies / organizations administering any grant or other assistance program under this declaration to determine how an approval of SBA disaster loan might affect their eligibility.

Is There Help with Funding Mitigation Improvements?

If your loan application is approved, you may be eligible for additional funds to cover the cost of improvements that will protect your property against future damage. Examples of improvements include retaining walls, seawalls, sump pumps, safe rooms, etc. Mitigation loan money would be in addition to the amount of the approved loan, but may not exceed 20 percent of total amount of physical damage to real property, including leasehold improvements, and personal property as verified by SBA to a maximum of $200,000 for home loans. It is not necessary for the description of improvements and cost estimates to be submitted with the application. SBA approval of the mitigating measures will be required before any loan increase.

Is There Help Available for Refinancing?

  • SBA can refinance all or part of prior mortgages that are evidenced by a recorded lien, when the applicant (1) does not have credit available elsewhere, (2) has suffered substantial uncompensated disaster damage (40 percent or more of the value of the property or 50% or more of the value of the structure), and (3) intends to repair the damage.
  • Businesses – Business owners may be eligible for the refinancing of existing mortgages or liens on real estate, machinery and equipment, up to the amount of the loan for the repair or replacement of real estate, machinery, and equipment.
  • Homes – Homeowners may be eligible for the refinancing of existing liens or mortgages on homes, up to the amount of the loan for real estate repair or replacement.

What if I Decide to Relocate?

You may use your SBA disaster loan to relocate. The amount of the relocation loan depends on whether you relocate voluntarily or involuntarily. If you are interested in relocation, an SBA representative can provide you with more details on your specific situation.

Are There Insurance Requirements for Loans?

To protect each borrower and the Agency, SBA may require you to obtain and maintain appropriate insurance. By law, borrowers whose damaged or collateral property is located in a special flood hazard area must purchase and maintain flood insurance. SBA requires that flood insurance coverage be the lesser of 1) the total of the disaster loan, 2) the insurable value of the property, or 3) the maximum insurance available.

For more information, contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing, or visiting SBA’s Web site at Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call (800) 877-8339. Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site at