County helping small businesses affected by winter storms

The Chester County Department of Emergency Services is issuing a reminder to all small businesses in the region that have suffered economic loss due to the ice and snow storms in February:  If your small business has sustained substantial economic injury, regardless of physical damage, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

“Small businesses and agricultural cooperatives that have lost business as a result of the ice and snow storms between February 4, 2014 and February 15, 2014 may be eligible for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program,” said Bob Kagel, Deputy Director for Emergency Management for the Chester County Department of Emergency Services.   Substantial economic injury is the inability of a business to meet its obligations as they mature, and to pay its ordinary and necessary operating expenses.

In order to make available these Economic Injury Disaster Loans, Chester County must show that at least five Chester County businesses sustained substantial economic injury from the ice and snowstorms.  “We’re asking small businesses in Chester County to complete and submit a form by March 7, 2014 to ensure funding will be made available,” added Kagel. “If we don’t get at least five applications, the SBA will not consider any loans for Chester County. ”

An Economic Injury Disaster Loan can help small businesses meet necessary financial obligations that the business could have met had the ice and snowstorms not occurred.   The Loan provides relief from economic injury caused directly by the ice and snow storms and permits the business to maintain a reasonable working capital position.

The SBA provides Economic Injury Disaster Loans only to those businesses determined as unable to obtain credit elsewhere.  The SBA can provide up to $1.5 million in disaster assistance to a business.  This loan cap includes both economic injury and physical damage assistance.  The loan amount will be based on the actual economic injury and financial needs. The interest rate on Economic Injury Disaster Loans cannot exceed four percent per year.  The term of these loans cannot exceed 30 years.

For more information, and to complete the Economic Injury Survey form, visit www.chesco.org/des or call the Department of Emergency Services at 610-344-4335

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