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Disaster help available for small businesses

Disaster assistance available for small businesses impacted by red tide

Post Date:09/10/2018
SARASOTA COUNTY - Low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) are available to Florida small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small agricultural businesses and private nonprofit organizations impacted by the red tide algal bloom beginning Nov. 1, 2017. 

SBA Administrator Linda McMahon made the loans available in response to a letter from Gov. Rick Scott on Aug. 21, requesting disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration includes Sarasota County and other neighboring counties in Florida. 

Sarasota County is working with the SBA to provide small businesses with financial resources. 

"Sarasota County is committed to ensuring that all resources that are available to the business community are provided in a seamless and expedient fashion, " said Sarasota County Governmental Relations Director Rob Lewis. "We appreciate the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the SBA reaching out to us and providing the opportunity to assist."

SBA's customer service representatives will be available to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications, at the Business Recovery Center located at Bee Ridge Park, 4430 South Lockwood Ridge Road. The Business Recovery Center hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Eligibility for these working capital loans are based on the size and type of business and its financial resources. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA's secure website at
Applications and program information are also available by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing Loan applications can also be downloaded at
The filing deadline to return applications for economic injury is June 4, 2019.

For more information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000.
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