April 1, 2024

SBA: Two Business Recovery Centers Open to Support Small Businesses Amid Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse

Centers Will Help Small Business Owners Apply for Low-Interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans as Part of Biden-Harris Administration’s Whole-of-Government Approach to Recovery

Today the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the opening of a second Business Recovery Center (BRC) at the CareFirst Engagement Center (1501 South Clinton Street) in Baltimore to provide further federal government support to businesses affected by the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse. The CareFirst Engagement Center BRC and the Dundalk Renaissance BRC (11 Center Place, Suite 201) in Dundalk both opened today, April 1.

“The SBA joins the entire federal family in grieving for the lives lost in the tragic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge,”said SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman. “As Baltimore and the wider community mourn and start to rebuild, the SBA and the Biden-Harris Administration stand ready to help local small businesses get through the economic disruption caused by the bridge collapse.”

Customer Service Representatives at the SBA’s two BRCs will assist business owners in completing their disaster loan applications, accept documents for existing applications, and provide status on loan applications. The Centers will operate as indicated below until further notice:

Business Recovery Center (BRC)Dundalk, Baltimore County Dundalk Renaissance11 Center Place, Suite 201Dundalk, MD 21222 Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.Closed SundayBusiness Recovery Center (BRC)Baltimore, Baltimore County CareFirst Engagement Center1501 South Clinton StreetBaltimore, MD 21224 Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.Closed Sunday

“Our Business Recovery Centers are one of the most powerful resources at SBA’s disposal to support business owners in the midst of a disaster,” said Francisco Sánchez, Jr., Associate Administrator for the SBA Office of Disaster Recovery and Resilience. “Business owners can meet in person with our specialists to apply for SBA disaster loans and get information on the full breadth of our programs designed to help them navigate their recovery.”

On March 30, the SBA issued a disaster declaration covering counties affected by the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse. The declaration applies to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses, and private nonprofit organizations. Applicants in the declared area can apply for a federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) of up to $2 million to help overcome any temporary loss of revenue stemming from the bridge collapse. These loans may be used to pay normal operating expenses such as fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disruption. The filing deadline to return economic injury applications is December 30, 2024.

Eligibility is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 4% for small businesses and 3.25% for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years and are restricted to small businesses without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Interest does not begin to accrue until 12 months from the date of the first disaster loan disbursement. SBA disaster loan repayment begins 12 months from the date of the first disbursement.

Applicants may apply online and receive additional disaster assistance information at sba.gov/disaster. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. For people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services.

This post was originally published here.