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FILE -- In this June 25, 2019 photo, a Harrison County Sheriff's deputy rides along the sand warning beach-goers to stay out of the water in Long Beach, Miss. (Alyssa Newton/The Sun Herald)

Mississippi firms affected by cyanobacteria can seek help

Businesses along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast might be able to get federal aid if they’ve suffered economic losses due to toxic blue-green bacteria in the water.

News outlets are reporting on the process that could enable Small Business Administration loans to affected businesses.

At least five businesses from each affected county have to show they’ve suffered substantial economic injury. Gov. Phil Bryant could then make an Economic Injury Declaration, triggering federal loans to businesses that can’t pay ordinary expenses because of a disaster.

A harmful cyanobacteria bloom fed by pollution from the flooded Mississippi River has plagued the state’s Gulf Coast, where beaches have been under an advisory warning people not to have contact with the water. Popularly known as blue-green algae, it can cause rashes, vomiting and diarrhea.

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