SOUTH MISSISSIPPI — The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has opened four Business Recovery Centers in Mississippi today to help small businesses and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes affected by the Deepwater BP oil spill.
“Due to the amount of economic losses caused by the BP oil spill in Mississippi, 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, all open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., are located at the George County Emergency Operations Center in Lucedale, the Civic Center in Bay St. Louis, the Jackson County Fairgrounds Ticket Office in Pascagoula and the Stone County Courthouse in Wiggins.
Eligible small businesses in Forrest, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River, Perry and Stone counties 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 Feb. 14, 2011.