The U.S. Small Business Administration has opened an office in Jackson, Mississippi, for organizations in Hinds County and seven adjacent counties to obtain disaster loans to mitigate the effects of the capital city’s water crisis. Other counties that can apply at the office include Claiborne, Copiah, Madison, Rankin, Simpson, Warren and Yazoo counties.
The SBA Business Recovery Center at the Chamber of Commerce Building will be open at 201 S.President St. on Jackson Street Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Operations will cease at 2pm on Saturday, October 10th. January 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 DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov/ela/s and should apply in accordance with SBA Statement #17621, not in response to the COVID-19 event,” September 1, 2022 15th press release said. Loan terms include having an “acceptable” credit history and the ability to repay the loan.
The SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to eligible applicants to “help meet working capital needs resulting from disasters,” Janita R. Stewart, the SBA’s Mississippi district director, said in a release. Mississippi-based small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and private nonprofits are eligible, the release said.
Jackson’s most recent water crisis began on July 29, 2022, when the city of Jackson issued a boiling water notice. Water pressure then dropped across the city. Businesses are feeling the impact of the crisis by increasing operating expenses and reducing customers. On September 15, 2022, Reeves announced the lifting of the boil water notice following remediation efforts by federal and state agencies.
U.S. SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a September 15, 2022 press release that “SBA’s mission-driven team stands ready to help those affected by the Jackson water crisis. Small businesses and private nonprofits in Hinds County.”
“We are committed to providing federal disaster loans quickly and efficiently in a customer-centric manner to help businesses and communities recover and rebuild,” she added.
in a statement in September. January 14, 2022, SBA Statement Required for Disaster Loans, Governor. Tate Reeves said the low-interest loans would help businesses recover from the recent severe crisis.
“After the Pearl River flooded in late August 2022, many businesses in Hinds County, including the City of Jackson, suffered financial losses from complete or nearly complete loss of water pressure. The entire city had virtually no running water, and businesses could not provide services, Cleaning, cooling or sanitizing, forcing them to either suffer losses or temporarily shut down,” he said.
In a Saturday release, Deputy Director of the Office of Disaster Assistance Francisco Sanchez, Jr. said “those who have suffered financial losses should take comfort that the SBA is now ready to act swiftly to provide federal disaster assistance. .”
Loan terms include 3.04% for businesses and 1.875% for non-profit organizations, for up to 30 years. The SBA added, “The loan amount and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial situation.”
The agency’s website says the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan can provide Jackson businesses up to $2 million to “help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that would otherwise have occurred in the absence of a disaster.” It is exempt from this restriction if “the business is the main source of employment”. The loan amount is based on “actual economic loss” and the company’s financial needs.
The organization offers the deaf and hard of hearing the option to call 800-877-2955 for help. Others should contact SBA’s 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 the following address:
U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Payment Center
14925 Kingsport Road
Fort Worth, Texas 76155
See Mississippi Free Press’ Full Jackson Water Crisis Coveragestarting in March 2021.