Panola County residents and business owners who sustained damage in the recent winter storms may be eligible for federal assistance with FEMA and the Small Business Administration.

Panola Counties is one of 108 Texas counties listed in a federal disaster declaration approved for Texas.

The eligible counties named in the federal disaster declaration are: Anderson, Angelina, Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Bosque, Bowie, Brazoria, Brazos, Brown, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Cherokee, Collin, Colorado, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Ellis, Erath, Falls, Fannin, Freestone, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gillespie, Gonzales, Grayson, Gregg, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hill, Hood, Houston, Hunt, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Johnson, Jones, Kaufman, Kendall, Lavaca, Liberty, Limestone, Lubbock, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Medina, Milam, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Rockwall, Rusk, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Taylor, Tom Green, Travis, Tyler, Upshur, Val Verde, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Wharton, Wichita, Williamson, Wilson, Wise and Wood.

Here’s information on how you can apply for federal assistance. Downtown Carthage businesses can also apply for money for façade improvements through Main Street Carthage. That information will be at the bottom.

Disaster Assistance from FEMA

Homeowners or renters who sustained individual damage can apply for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Assistance includes financial help for temporary lodging and home repairs; low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses; and other programs to help people and businesses recover.

Those with insurance who are applying for disaster assistance must also file a claim with their insurance company. FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance, but you may be eligible for federal assistance if your insurance does not cover all of your losses.

There are several ways to apply for assistance:

Visit www.disasterassistance.gov

  • .
  • Call toll-free 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585) between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. any day of the week. Persons using a relay service such as videophone, Innocaption or CapTel should update FEMA with the specific number assigned to that service.

When calling, make sure you have a current phone number where you can be reached, your address at the time of the disaster, the address where you are now staying, your Social Security number (if available), a general list of damage and losses and your insurance policy number, agent and company name (if insured).

FEMA is recommending residents take photos to document damage and begin clean-up and repairs to prevent further damage. Residents should keep receipts from all purchases related to clean-up and repair.

Disaster loans from the U.S. SBA

Low-interest federal disaster loans are also available from the U.S. Small Business Adminsitration, including:

  • business physical disaster loans up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged property, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery and equipment. There is no business size restriction, and private, non-profit organizations like churches, charities and private colleges are also eligible.
  • economic injury disaster loans up to $2 million, which are working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private, non-profit organizations meet financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster.
  • home disaster loans, for homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and property.

Applicants must have an acceptable credit history, ability to repay all loans and collateral for physical loss loans over $25,000 and economic injury disaster loans over $25,000.

A virtual business recovery center and virtual disaster loan outreach center will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT. Email FOCWAssistance@sba.gov or call (800) 659-2955.

To be considered for disaster assistance, applications must first contact FEMA at www.disasterassistance.gov.

For SBA loans, applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/.

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.

Downtown Carthage Façade Grant Program

Main Street Carthage has limited funds available to downtown business owners who may have suffered damage as part of its downtown façade grant program.

Main Street Manager Cindy Deloney said the city has about $2,700 left in the program out of the original $4,000.

Deloney said anyone who is interested in applying for the program should call her cell at (903) 736-2273 and she can provide an application and details about the program.

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Reporter

Carthage native Meredith Shamburger has worked for the Panola Watchman since 2018. Before that, she worked at sister papers in Longview and Marshall; the Dallas Morning News; and The Daily Voice, a hyperlocal news company in Westchester County, New York.