The U.S. Small Business Administration is opening a Business Recovery Center this week in Charlotte County. It will be at the West County Annex, 6868 San Casa Drive, Englewood, and will open at 9 a.m. today.

Hours will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. It will close after Saturday.

SBA’s customer service representatives have been working to assist small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and private nonprofit organizations financially impacted by the red tide algal bloom that began Nov. 1, 2017, and the toxic algal bloom that began on June 1, 2018, to obtain an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan for their working capital needs.

Impacted businesses are encouraged to visit one of the temporary locations this week and get answers to program questions, assistance in applying for an SBA disaster loan and help with the reconsideration process.

Eligible entities may qualify for loans up to $2 million.

The SBA offers economic injury loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. The rates on these loans are 3.385 percent for small businesses and 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years.

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, DisasterLoan.sba.gov.

Applications and program information are 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 disastercustomerservice @sba.gov. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be returned to a center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for economic injury is June 4, 2019.

Other Business Recovery Centers in Lee, Manatee, Martin, Pinellas and Sarasota counties are already in operation. The Sarasota County office is at Bee Ridge Park, 4430 S. Lockwood Road. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

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