CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) Small businesses are considered the backbone of the economy and, many of them were affected by the storms.

  Local officials with the US Small Business Administration say they've seen a lot of traffic since the storms.

  They're offering federal low cost, low interest disaster loans for business owners who took a hit because of storm damage.  Most importantly, officials say, "be prepared."

  Walter N. Perry, III, District Director Small Business Administration, "We would encourage, for those not affected by the disaster to have a disaster plan for the future, to ensure your business and records are very much safe and protected."

  If you  need more information, here is the contact information for the Small Business Administration.

  You can call 800-659-2955, or email them.  You can also fill out an online application by clicking here.