Written by Scott Nelson, Director, Wakulla County Emergency Management Tuesday, 18 May 2010 16:21
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that it will open eight Business Recovery Centers in Florida Tuesday, May 18 to help small businesses and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes affected by the Deepwater BP Oil Spill that began on April 20, 2010. Two of the centers will be located in Wakulla and Franklin counties.
“Due to the amount of economic losses caused by the BP Oil Spill in Florida, we want affected businesses to have a resource where they can meet individually with SBA representatives and find out how a low-interest disaster loan can help them recover,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center in Atlanta.
The Centers’ locations and hours of operation are:
SBA Business Recovery Centers (BRCs)
Opens Tuesday, May 18
Hours: Monday-Saturday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wakulla Agriculture Center
84 Cedar Avenue
Crawfordville, FL 32327
Chamber of Commerce
122 Commerce Street
Apalachicola, FL 32320
Eligible small businesses in Alachua, Bay, Calhoun, Charlotte, Citrus, DeSoto, Escambia, Franklin, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Okaloosa, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Sumter, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton and Washington counities in Florida; Baldwin, Covington, Escambia and Geneva counties in Alabama; and Brooks and Thomas counties in Georgia may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans up to $2 million. The SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLS) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.
Interest rates are 3 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. Eligibility for an EIDL is determined by the SBA based on the size and type of business and its financial resources. The SBA sets loan amounts and terms based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Businesses in designated counties must demonstrate economic injury as part of their loan application. The loans may be used by small businesses that are unable to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. These loans can provide vital economic assistance to fishing and fishing-dependent businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. SBA encourages businesses to also file claims with BP. Borrowers may be required to use any claim payments to help repay these SBA loans.
Eligible small businesses include those engaged in shrimping, crabbing and oyster fishing in the waters affected by the closure (employees or crew members are not small businesses and are not eligible); small businesses dependent on the catching or sale of shrimp, crabs and oysters, suppliers of fishing gear and fuel; docks, boatyards, processors, wholesalers, shippers, retailers and other small businesses dependent on revenue from fishing, recreational and sports fishing small businesses, and coastal small businesses.
Understanding the financial challenges many of these business owners currently face, the SBA is also strongly encouraging its participating 7(a) lenders and Certified Development Companies (CDCs) to consider on a case-by-case basis deferment relief for borrowers with SBA-guaranteed 7(a) loans and 504 loans. Small businesses should call their lenders for information on possible loan deferments.
Small businesses in the area who are repaying SBA disaster loans may also be eligible for a deferment, on a case-by-case basis. For information on seeking a disaster loan deferment, call the SBA’s Disaster Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955.
SBA customer service representatives will be available at each Business Recovery Center to meet with business owners to answer questions about the disaster loan program, issue applications and help them complete the forms.Business Owners unable to visit one of the Centers may obtain applications and program information by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for people with speech or hearing disabilities) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT or by sending an e-mail to email@example.com. Business loan applications can also be downloaded from the SBA website at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance .
Completed applications should be returned to one of the Centers or mailed to:
U.S. Small Business Administration
Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Road
Fort Worth TX 76155.
Business Owners may apply for disaster loans on SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ .
The deadline to return economic injury applications is February 14, 2011.
For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Programs, visit our website at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance .
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