SBA opens flood-assistance center

The U. S. Small Business Administration has opened a Business Assistance Center in Keene to help businesses affected by recent flooding.

The center, located at the Keene Recreation Center, 312 Washington St., will be open from 2 to 8 p.m. today.

The center is co-sponsored by the New Hampshire Business Resource Center, The city of Keene, The Greater Keene Area Chamber of Commerce and the Monadnock Economic Development Corp.

Businesses of any size and certain private, non-profit organizations can apply for SBA disaster loans up to $1.5 million to repair or replace real estate, machinery, equipment and inventory or other tangible business assets damaged or destroyed by the storms and flooding. SBA also offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) of up to $1.5 million to small businesses suffering a loss of working capital as a result of the disaster, whether they had physical damage or not.

“Due to the unparalleled physical and economic loss caused by the severe storms and flooding, we want affected businesses to have a local outlet where they can meet individually with SBA representatives and find out how a low-interest disaster loan can help them recover”, said Frank Skaggs, SBA Director of Field Operations Center – East.

No appointments are necessary. SBA officials will speak with business owners on a first-come, first served basis. They will explain the disaster loan program, answer questions, issue disaster loan applications and go over the filing requirements.

“The business owners do not have to bring anything with them to meet with SBA or to obtain an application. And any business that already has an application can bring it in to assure its completeness if they wish,” Skaggs said.

Businesses unable to visit SBA in person may obtain applications by calling 1-800-659-2955 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily. Applications also are available on SBA’s Web site, or at the FEMA /SBA Disaster Recovery Center at 25 Roxbury St. in Keene. – NHBR STAFF

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