Disaster Lending Office open until October 7, others until June 2023

The U.S. Small Business Administration Business Recovery Office in Jackson, Miss., is open for the remainder of this week to help small businesses and nonprofits impacted by Jackson’s latest water crisis apply for loans from working capital. The online portal remains open until June 14, 2023.

After announcing earlier that the office, located next to Jackson City Hall (201 S. President Street) would close Sept. 30, 2022, it is now scheduled to close at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, the office said. agency in a press conference on September 30, 2022. Small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the Jackson water crisis that began on August 30, 2022 are eligible for repayable low-interest loans up to 30 years old.

SBA public affairs officer for the lending program, Leslie Hill, told the Mississippi Free Press by phone Oct. 3, 2022 that the extension will allow more businesses to respond.

“We only have one Disaster Recovery Center, (so) this is an opportunity for people in adjoining counties to come and apply,” he said.

In addition to Hinds County, businesses and nonprofits in the following counties may apply if they have suffered economic loss due to the water crisis: Claiborne, Copiah, Madison, Rankin, Simpson counties , Warren and Yazoo.

Kem Fleming, director of the US Small Business Administration East’s Field Operations Center, said the Business Recovery Center in Jackson, Mississippi has “customer service representatives for one-on-one assistance.” The office is open until October 7, 2022. Photo courtesy of Kem Fleming

In the statement announcing the extension, Kem Fleming, director of SBA Field Operations Center East, encouraged “anyone who has not completed their disaster loan application to come to the center before it closes and meet with a representative. from SBA customer service for one-on-one assistance.”

Other offices offering assistance until June 2023

Hill said the Small Business Development Center and Women’s Business Centerboth at Jackson State University, also offer assistance to candidates beyond Friday. “They help individuals complete their applications if they can’t get into the business recovery center,” he said. According to their websites, both offices receive funding from the US Small Business Administration and partner with the agency.

The Mississippi Small Business Development Center has 20 locations in the state, including one at Jackson State University.

Those applying for the loan must provide their financial information and show the impact of the water crisis on their businesses, Rickey Jones, director of Jackson State University’s Small Business Development Center, told the Mississippi Free Press in his office on October 4, 2022.

“The current water situation has impacted small businesses, especially small businesses that operate (with one owner) but have multiple employees,” he said. “In most cases, employees may have had to leave because their children were out of school, as one business owner explained to me.”

Sydney Brown, wearing glasses and a white button-up top, sits at a desk with a computer to her left
Director of Jackson State University’s Women’s Business Center, Sydney Brown, said the office is responding to questions about the disaster recovery loan for small businesses and nonprofits affected by the crisis. water in Jackson. Picture of Kayode Crown

“A lot of our restaurants had to be very creative because they had to bring in water in some cases or pay for water to be able to run their facilities,” he added.

Women Business Center director Sydney Brown said the June 2023 deadline to return the application is “because small business owners may not realize the impact the water crisis is having. had on their business months before”.

In an interview with the Mississippi Free Press in his office on Oct. 4, 2022, Brown said the assistance the office provides to applicants includes guiding them through the process, identifying supporting documents and answering their questions.

Jones, the director of the Small Business Development Center, said the payments are not due for five months once approved.

He also wanted to “emphasize to business owners” that if they are initially turned down they should “find out what was missing” or should continue the process “because it could have been a clarification on when they were affected, how they were affected, and so on, which requires additional information.

An exterior entrance with a sign saying SBA Disaster Assistance Business Recovery Center
The U.S. Small Business Administration Business Recovery Center in downtown Jackson, Mississippi will continue to help businesses affected by the water crisis in Jackson apply for disaster loans through October 7, 2022. Picture of Kayode Crown

About 175 companies helped in two weeks

Hill told the Mississippi Free Press that the Business Recovery Office helped about 175 small businesses and nonprofits in its first two weeks, and more than half of them are being processed. Some could start getting loans as early as this month.

“So right now 65% of them are looking to be moved and approved,” he said.

“It usually takes two to three weeks for the application process, then after you get approval you can move on to disbursement; checks are cleared shortly thereafter,” Hill added. “So the lead time is less than 30 days – full and full disbursement lead time.”

Disaster loan terms include an interest rate of 3.04% for businesses and 1.875% for nonprofits, with terms up to 30 years.

SBA Economic Disaster Loans can provide Jackson businesses with up to $2 million to “help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” the company’s website says. ‘agency. It can waive that limit if “a business is a major source of employment,” the SBA said. The amount of the loan is based on the “actual economic harm” and the financial needs of the business.

The organization offers people who are deaf and hard of hearing the option to call 800-877-2955 for assistance. Others should contact the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. Loan applications can be downloaded from sba.gov/disasterand completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center at 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX, 76155.

See the Mississippi Free Press’ full coverage of the water crisis in Jacksonfrom March 2021.

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