Small businesses in Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Perry, Scott and Stoddard counties in Missouri and Alexander County in Illinois are among those eligible for federal economic injury disaster loans, the U.S. Small Business Administration said.
The low-interest loans are available to those businesses economically affected by the winter storm that passed through the state Jan. 26 to 28. The Small Business Administration declared the disaster after the organization received Gov. Jay Nixon's request April 13.
"I greatly appreciate the efforts of the Small Business Administration to ensure that small business owners and non-profit organizations will have the resources they need to get back on their feet after the overwhelming ice storms this January," U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Cape Girardeau, said in a written statement Tuesday. "Recovery from these storms reaches far beyond the first steps of clearing fallen limbs and repairing damaged infrastructure. These low-interest loans are a necessary step to restoring Southeast Missouri businesses damaged by the severe ice storms."
The deadline to apply for the loans is Jan. 19. Businesses may qualify for the loans not exceeding $2 million at an interest rate of 4 percent for a term of up to 30 years.
The Small Business Administration has opened a Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Kennett, Mo., where customer service representatives will be on hand to meet with each business owner to explain financing. The office will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday through May 7 inside the Kennett Chamber of Commerce at 1601 First St.
Other counties in Missouri eligible to receive aid are Barry, Butler, Carter, Christian, Dent, Douglas, Dunklin, Howell, Lawrence, Mississippi, New Madrid, Ozark, Oregon, Ozark, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, Stone, Taney, Texas, Wayne, Webster and Wright.
"These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can't be paid because of the disaster's impact," Small Business Administration Acting Regional Administrator A. Dean Cotton said in a news release. "These loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses affected by the severe winter storms to help overcome the temporary financial impacts they are experiencing. Due to the economic loss the severe winter storm caused small businesses in Missouri, we want to provide every available service to help them get back on their feet."
1601 First St., Kennett, MO