The BP oil spill has been named the worst environmental crisis in the history of the United States. Over the course of the last several weeks, the waters of the Gulf Coast have been coated in crude oil, which has leeched onto the land and caused a major economic emergency. With the problem no closer to being solved, and BP only just starting to make tiny steps of progress in stemming the flow and cleaning the damage, this is a strike against the environment and local commerce that will have an effect for years to come.
The United States Small Business Administration has, therefore, come up with a contingency plan that they hope will be launched in the coming months. They are offering low-interest emergency loans to businesses (non-farm) that are suffering due to this disaster. This is specifically to those organizations struggling specifically because of the oil spill.
Those eligible are mostly fishing units, such as those that catch crabs and oysters in waters tainted by the oil. Water closures have pushed many of these fishing businesses away from the usual fishing areas, and forced them to seek out smaller regions with less to catch. Because of this, some businesses that were thriving are now facing bankruptcy.
But it isn’t just for the fishing businesses. It is also applicable for anyone who relied on the sell, transport, or equipping of fishing ships; such as retailers and wholesalers, dockers, ship equipment providers, tackle and bait stores, ect.
Small business also have the option of requesting a deferral on existing SBA loans under their names. This is part of the $2 million capital offer through SBA, with a 4% interest rate on a 30 year term. This is a great chance for small businesses to both protect themselves from the economic strike caused by this crisis, and possibly increase the reach and revenue of their firm. It can also be applied to payroll, suppliers, or any bills that have been left unpaid.
The deadline to request a loan or deferral is February 14, 2011. They have promised to be there, offering Mississippi residents help for as long as they are needed, and possible further aid may be coming in the months ahead.
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