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Deadline nearing for SBA-backed oil spill loans

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI — The Small Business Administration is reminding Mississippi businesses that the deadline for applying for SBA-backed oil spill recovery loans is Feb. 14.

Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta, said, “Currently, we have approved loans totaling $36.468 million for businesses throughout the Gulf Coast region that were affected by the oil spill.”

Through its Office of Disaster Assistance, the SBA provides working capital loans up to $2 million, with terms up to 30 years. The loans provide essential working capital to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. Interest rates are 4 percent for small businesses and 3 percent for private non-profit organizations.

The loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private non-profit organizations in the following counties: Forrest, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River, Perry and Stone.

The SBA also encourages businesses to file claims with BP through the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. Borrowers may be required to use claim payments to help repay these disaster loans.

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