The United States Small Business Administration has opened an office in Jackson, Mississippi, for organizations in Hinds County and seven adjacent counties to access disaster loans to help address the impact of the water crisis in the capital. Other counties that can apply for the office include Claiborne, Copiah, Madison, Rankin, Simpson, Warren and Yazoo counties.

The SBA Business Recovery Center in the Chamber of Commerce Building will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 201 S. President St., Jackson. It will cease operations at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 1, 2022, although businesses can still apply for loans online until June 14, 2023.

“Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application through the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov/ela/s and should apply under SBA Statement #17621, not for the COVID-19 incident,” a September 15, 2022 news release said. Loan conditions include having an “acceptable” credit history and having the ability to repay the loan.

SBA Mississippi District Director Janita R. Stewart said in a press release that the SBA offers Economic Disaster Loans, or EIDLs, to eligible applicants “to help meet the cash needs of turnover caused by the disaster”. Mississippi-based small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and private nonprofit organizations are eligible, the press release said.

U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a September 15, 2022 news release that federal disaster loans available to businesses in Hinds County and surrounding areas affected by the Jackson’s water crisis will help “communities recover and rebuild”. Photo courtesy SBA

The recent water crisis in Jackson began on July 29, 2022, when the City of Jackson issued a boil water advisory. A city-wide drop in water pressure followed. Companies have felt the effects of the crisis through increased operating costs and a decrease in customers. On September 15, 2022, Reeves announced the removal of the boil water advisory following remediation efforts that federal and state agencies have undergone.

SBA’s U.S. Administrator, Isabella Casillas Guzman, said in the September 15, 2022 press release that “SBA’s mission-driven team stands ready to help small businesses and private nonprofit organizations of Hinds County affected by Jackson’s water crisis”.

“We are committed to providing federal disaster loans quickly and efficiently, with a client-centric approach to helping businesses and communities recover and rebuild,” she added.

Official portrait of Janita Stewart
Small Business Administration Mississippi District Director Janita R. Stewart said the loans available to small businesses “will help meet working capital needs” caused by Jackson’s water crisis. Photo courtesy of Janita Stewart

In a September 14, 2022 statement, requesting a statement from the SBA to make disaster loans available, Governor Tate Reeves said the low-interest loans will help businesses recover from the recent crisis. acute.

“Many businesses in Hinds County, including the City of Jackson, suffered economic losses due to the total or near total loss of water pressure following the Pearl River flood at the end of August 2022. With little or no running water across the city, businesses could not serve, clean, cool or sanitize, forcing them to incur losses or temporarily close,” he said.

In Saturday’s press release, Office of Disaster Assistance Associate Administrator Francisco Sanchez, Jr. said, “Those who have suffered economic loss should be reassured that the SBA is now ready to act quickly to provide federal disaster assistance.”

Loan terms include an interest rate of 3.04% for businesses and 1.875% for nonprofits, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA added that “loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial situation.”

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.” produced,” the agency’s website reads. 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 at sba.gov/disaster, and completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to:

American Center for Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement

14925 Kingsport Road

Fort Worth, Texas 76155

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

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