FERSUSON, Mo. – This afternoon, the U.S. Small Business Administration declared an economic disaster in Ferguson due to civil unrest. Businesses in Ferguson impacted on or after August 9 can apply for a small business disaster loan in order to acquire working capital to restore their business back to pre-disaster condition.
“We encourage any small businesses that have been impacted by the civil unrest to come in and meet with our customer service representatives so we can sit down and talk to them about how a SBA disaster loan may help their recovery,” said Rick Jenkins from the SBA Disaster Office.
SBA will be opening a temporary loan outreach center tomorrow morning at the Ferguson Public Library at 35 N. Florissant Road. That office will be open Monday through Friday from 9am until 6pm through September 17.
“This SBA declaration means that another important tool is available – in this case, low-interest loans for businesses and non-profits – for rebuilding and strengthening the businesses that are essential to the vitality of the Ferguson area,” Gov. Nixon said. “This is part of our ongoing and long-term commitment to helping the people of Ferguson and surrounding communities move forward.”
The SBA designated St. Louis County as the primary county for the declaration, and St. Charles, Franklin and Jefferson counties and the independent City of St. Louis as contiguous counties that are also eligible for the same SBA assistance.
Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, who represents Ferguson and has been active in the area, said that the declaration was great, especially because local businesses are dedicated to recovery.
“Most of the business owners who are in Ferguson that I’ve interacted with are completely dedicated to rebuilding and reestablishing themselves as they had been,” said Chappelle-Nadal. “Businesses have even been supportive to protesters as well because they understand the objections we’ve experienced in the past month. What I’ve seen in the conversations that I’ve had with businesses in the community and they want the opportunity to start all over again or expand, in some cases.”
Chappelle-Nadal emphasized the importance of a local office in the area that is most impacted by the civil unrest.
Frequently Asked Questions may be answered on the SBA website.
We will update this story as it develops.
Rachael Herndon was the editor at The Missouri Times and also produced This Week in Missouri Politics, published Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosted the #MoLeg podcast. She joined The Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.