Small Business Administration opens second Disaster Recovery Center in Selma

Published 7:50 am Wednesday, February 1, 2023

By Travis Gupton

The Selma Times-Journal

The Small Business Administration opened a new Disaster Recovery Center in Dallas County to help residents affected by the tornado that devastated Selma on January 12.

Email newsletter signup

Although three weeks removed from the tornado, the SBA staff feels it’s still important to give local citizens of Dallas County every opportunity to rebuild.

“We are opening new ones so people can have more access to them,” SBA Public Affairs Specialist Sharon Dooley said. “Some of them are out in different counties. We try to open one in every county and give everyone who has had damage access to the Disaster Recovery Center. So far, we have two in Dallas County. We have this one at 405 Medical Center Parkway, which is the Felix Heights Community Center and then we have another one on Broad Street at Dr. Michael and Catherine Bullock Community Center.”

The SBA has a Business Recovery Center to help businesses that suffered tornado damage.

“We also have a BRC which is a Business Recovery Center,” Dooley said. “We say that because we offer assistance to homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes and nonprofits. We don’t want the businesses to have to wait at the DRC so we have one at Gospel Tabernacle Church for the Business Recovery Centers here in Selma.”

SBA encourages those wanting to apply with FEMA first and to them.

If SBA can not help, they will send you back to FEMA for consideration of other grants. Since opening up the DRC and BRC, the SBA has received a good response from Dallas County.

A lot of information goes into SBA loans including deadlines, which Dooley wanted to make sure the public was aware of.

“At the DRC you can register with FEMA,” Dooley said. “You can also register with SBA because SBA and FEMA are at all the DRC and then at the BRC it’s just SBA. So, we come and help homeowners, renters, and businesses. That’s what SBA does. We offer long-term low-interest fixed-rate loans. Some of the loans can be up to 30 years. Everybody’s situation is different. The interest rate for homeowners and renters is 2.313% and renters may qualify for up to $40,000 for their personal property. A lot of times, renters ask, what about us? So, if they lost furniture clothing or even a vehicle that was damaged in the disaster they may qualify for a loan for that.”

“As far as homeowners they may qualify for as much as $200,000 to fix the physical damage to their primary residence. I want to make sure they know this, it’s their primary residence. $200,000 for that.

Then they may qualify for an additional $40,000 for their personal property. Their furniture, their clothing, and their vehicle if it was damaged.

It has to be in the declared county and then on top of that $240,000 homeowners may qualify for an additional 20% of their verifiable damage to their home for mitigation to put in storm windows and storm or anything that will put them in a better situation should a disaster of this type happen again.”

Along with the homeowners and renters, SBA has a lot to offer business as well.

“As far as our businesses they may qualify for up to $2 million for their physical damage for their building for their inventory anything physical that happened to their property,” Dooley said. “Unless they are a major employer then that amount can go up.”

SBA does have a deadline to apply for any physical damage for homeowners, renters, and businesses. Homeowners and Renters must apply by March 16, 2023. Businesses have the opportunity to apply for what is called an economic injury loan or Idol loan. That loan helps businesses with their day-to-day operations. The deadline to apply for that loan is October 16, 2023. In order to qualify the SBA asks for three things.

You must have a credit history satisfactory to SBA, you must have the ability to repay the loan and any type of insurance that is necessary that the state might require a person to have. 

There are three ways to apply. Go to your nearest DRC or BRC, apply online at, or call 1-800-659-2955.

If you have a hearing or speech impediment you can call 711.

The SBA also appeared at the Dallas County Commission Special Called meeting on Monday at the Dallas County Courthouse. SBA officials said they plan to return at the next County Commission meeting on February 13 at the Dallas County Courthouse.