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Business and the Economy

SBA Disaster Loans Available to Missouri Businesses

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/sbadisaste_226.mp3

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering help to Missouri Businesses affected by this year's ice storm. Michele Skalicky reports.

Businesses in Missouri that took an economic hit because of the January ice storm may be eligible to receive a low interest loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Ron Foss is spokesman for the SBA's Field Operation Center West, Office of Disaster Assistance.

"They have to be small businesses, non-agricultural, and if they have suffered economic injury as a result of the severe weather back there, then they should apply."

According to Foss, the loans may be used to replace working capital that would have been there if the downturn in economic activity hadn't occurred.

"It doesn't just replace lost sales. That's a common misconception. What happens is we will take a look at the financial information that the business provides us, and we'll establish a normal, and then we'll look at what has happened since the problem and what they're projecting into the future until it returns to normal. And we'll see, well, here's what's probably going to go on and compare the two and see how much economic injury there has been."

The loans can be up to one-and-a-half-million dollars, at an interest rate of 4% with terms up to 30 years.

SBA customer service representatives will be on hand at Disaster Loan Outreach Centers this month for small business owners interested in applying for the loans.

A center will be set up at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce today (5/16), May 23rd and May 30th from 9 to 1. A center will be in Aurora at the Chamber of Commerce May 22nd and 29th from 9 to 1, and SBA representatives will be available in Lebanon at the Chamber of Commerce from 9 to 1 tomorrow (5/17) and May 24th. If you can't make it to those locations or if you'd like more information, call the SBA's customer service center at 1-800-659-2955.