Small Business Administration to help those affected by flooding

SBA representatives will help business owners, impacted by the summer’s historic flooding, with applying for loans at the Urban League in St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS — Business owners across the St. Louis area are getting some much needed help, after this summer’s historic flooding damaged many of their livelihoods.

The Small Business Administration, SBA, opened up a recovery center at the Urban League in St. Louis on Monday.

It’s help that business owners said they’ve been waiting for and desperately need.

Melissa Ingram has to relive every single lost item that flood waters took away from her business, as she looks to apply for an SBA loan.

“It’s very hard. I can’t do this every single day, but I’m doing my best,” Ingram said.

The morning of Tuesday, July 26, almost four feet of water filled Ingram’s business, Issa Lifestyle STL.

Once the water was gone, all she was left with were ripped outlets and leftover decorations on the wall.

“I’m still listing everything that has been lost and realizing that it’s so much more than I thought it was,” Ingram said.

‘Temporarily closed’ signs still hang outside of her business, because she isn’t sure when she’ll be able to open her doors up, again.

Now, the few things that were saved from the flood are wedged into Ingram’s living room.

“Everything’s in my home, now, because I can’t really afford to pay for storage, I have to pretty much start over,” she said.

Ingram’s not the only one though.

Many business owners were ready to get help on Monday afternoon, as they waited for the Small Business Administration to open up its recovery center at the Urban League in St. Louis.

SBA Public Information Officer, Susheel Kumar, said the recovery center is here to help the needs of the business owners.

“The need is acute. The need is great. We want to hit the ground running and help as many residents, homeowners and renters and business owners to get the assistance that they need,” he said.

SBA representatives helped business owners apply for loans.

According to Kumar, the center is focused on helping with physical damage and economic injury.

“Basically a Q&A, just a gentle conversation about what the damages were, and overall put together a package that we underwrite,” he said.

Businesses of any size and private nonprofits can borrow up to $2 million to repair and replace property.

Once the application is all done and approved, Kumar said, owners could see that money in about 30 days.

“Please come by, talk to us. Let’s help you sooner, rather than later,” he said.

All of this help is completely free and no appointments are required.

If you’re a business owner, who also had damage to your home or apartment, Kumar said, they can assist you too.

Businesses in the Missouri counties of St. Charles, St. Louis and St. Louis City can apply for physical damage and economic injury loans.

Business in the Missouri counties of Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln and Warren can only apply for economic injury loans.

Businesses in the Illinois counties of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Monroe and St. Clair can only apply for economic injury loans.

Application filing deadline for physical damage is Friday, Oct. 7, 2022.

Application filing deadline for economic injury is Monday, May 8, 2023.

SBA representatives will be at the Urban League on North Kingshighway Monday through Friday from 9 am to 6 pm, for the foreseeable future.

For business owners who can’t make it to the recovery center, you can apply online here.

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