SBA opens two business recovery centers to support small businesses amid Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse

The centers will help small business owners apply for low-interest economic disaster loans as part of the Biden-Harris administration’s approach to whole-of-government recovery

BALTIMORE, April 01, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today US Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the opening of a second Business Recovery Center (BRC) in CareFirst Engagement Center (1501 South Clinton Street) in Baltimore to provide further federal government support to businesses affected by the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. CareFirst BRC Engagement Center and Dundalk Renaissance BRC (11 Center Place, Suite 201) in Dundalk both opened today, April 1st.

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

Customer Service Representatives at the two SBA BRCs will assist business owners in completing their disaster loan applications, accepting documents for existing applications, and providing the status of loan applications. The centers will operate as shown below until further notice:

Business Recovery Center (BRC)
Dundalk, Baltimore County

The Dundalk Renaissance
11 Center Place, Suite 201
Dundalk, MD 21222

the hours: Monday – Friday, from 08:00 to 18:00
Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m
Closed on Sunday

Business Recovery Center (BRC)
Baltimore, Baltimore County

CareFirst Engagement Center
1501 South Clinton Street
Baltimore, MD 21224

the hours: Monday – Friday, from 08:00 to 18:00
Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m
Closed on Sunday

“Our Business Recovery Centers are one of the most powerful resources available to the SBA to support business owners in the midst of a disaster,” said Francisco S├ínchez, 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 our full breadth of programs designed to help them navigate their recovery.”

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

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

Interest does not start accruing until 12 months from the date of the first disbursement of the disaster loan. SBA disaster loan repayment begins 12 months from the date of first disbursement.

Applicants can apply online and get additional disaster assistance information at sba.gov/disaster. Applicants may also call the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email [email protected] for more information on SBA disaster assistance. For people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired, please call 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services.

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About the US Small Business Administration
The US Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the single resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared a disaster. It provides services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

Related programs: Disaster

CONTACT: Chrisine Saah- Nazer U.S. Small Business Administration 202-756-0304 [email protected]

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