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SBA Business Recovery Center to open in Jefferson City

SBA Business Recovery Center to open in Jefferson City

July 12th, 2019 by News Tribune in Local News

Greg Atkinson, husband of La Chica Loca breakfast burritos owner Amanda Jensen, steps out of his wife's damaged food truck for some fresh air Saturday afternoon as it rests surrounded by rubble and debris from the crumbling walls of Avenue HQ. Jensen said she initially thought the trailer was salvageable, but it was likely a total loss after discovering that Wednesday's tornado had lifted the mobile kitchen and slammed it into the rear wall of Avenue HQ, damaging much of the equipment inside. In addition to her food truck, Jensen also lost a lot of the kitchen prep equipment she had stored inside Avenue HQ, as the property has been deemed structurally unsafe to enter.

Photo by Kris Wilson

Mid-Missouri businesses that have been affected by severe storms, tornadoes or flooding since the end of April will soon have a place to go for assistance in their recovery.

The U.S. Small Business Administration and the Missouri Small Business Development Center are partnering to open an SBA Business Recovery Center in Jefferson City on July 17. The center will be located at the Small Business Development Center at Lincoln University, at 917 Leslie Blvd.

The Business Recovery Center will offer business counselors to help local businesses re-establish their operations, Greg Tucker, state director of the Missouri Small Business Development Center, said in a Friday news release.

Services will include assessing business working capital needs, evaluating the business's strength, cash flow projects, and a review of options to help business owners evaluate their alternatives and make decisions appropriate for their situation.

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Tanya Garfield, director of the U.S. Small Business Administration's Disaster Field Operations Center-West, said SBA customer service representatives will meet with business owners to explain SBA disaster loans and the application process, as well as help owners fill out electronic loan applications.

"Due to the severe property damage and economic losses inflicted on Missouri businesses, we want to provide every available service to help get them back on their feet," Garfield said in the news release. "The center will provide a one-stop location for businesses to access a variety of specialized help."

No appointments are needed, and all services are free of charge.

Business and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory or other business assests that aren't fully covered by insurance or other recoveries, according to Garfield.

Assistance is also available for businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations through economic injury disaster loans. These loans are available regardless of whether the businesses suffered any property damage.

Individuals can apply for disaster loan assistance by visiting disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or calling 1-800-659-2955.

The deadline to apply for property damage is Sept. 9, 2019, and the deadline to apply for economic injury is April 9, 2020.