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SBA opens another oil spill recovery office

BAY ST. LOUIS — The U.S. Small Business Administration has opened an additional Business Recovery Center in Hancock County 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 Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

The new center is located in the Hancock Chamber of Commerce on U.S. 90 in Bay St. Louis. Its hours are 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. The other centers, with the same operating hours, are located in the George County Emergency Operations Center in Lucedale, Civic Center in Bay St. Louis, Jackson County Fairgrounds Ticket Office in Pascagoula, SBA Gulfport Branch Office and Stone County Courthouse in Wiggins.

Eligible small businesses in Forrest, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River, Perry and Stone counties in Mississippi may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans up to $2 million.

Business owners unable to visit one of the centers may obtain applications and program information by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for people with speech or hearing disabilities) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT or by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. 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.

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