Following a string of tornadoes that killed 36 people in Tennessee in April, the Small Business Administration has approved more than $10 million in disaster assistance loans for area businesses that suffered damage.

"Our efforts to provide rebuilding loans to the people of Tennessee are beginning to pay off," Frank Skaggs, an SBA field operations center director, said in a statement. "The steps we have taken to enhance our loan processing capabilities are allowing us to approve disaster loans much quicker and enable us to get the needed funds in the hands of those victims needing to repair their homes and businesses."

As of May 31, the SBA had approved 135 loans with interest rates as low as 4%.

Business owners have until June 5 to apply for loans to repair any physical damage to their property caused by the tornadoes, and until January 5, 2007 for economic impact loans.