Emergency loans available for small businesses in Eastern KY / Public News Service

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Quick turnaround loans of up to $5,000 are available for small businesses in eastern Kentucky affected by devastating flooding that killed at least 28 people in more than a dozen counties.

Many local businesses in the area were just starting to come back after the pandemic, said Robert Allen, director of loans at the Mountain Association, and now they will need help to rebuild. He said residents and rescue teams beginning the cleanup process relied on shops and stores to provide basic necessities.

“There are grocery stores there that are a vital part of the community, where the food source is,” he said. “There are businesses that are going to have a very hard time rebuilding, and the economic impact is real.”

Allen said loan information may not yet be available online, but wants residents to know to continue to check mtassociation.org for updates. President Joe Biden has declared the flooding a federal emergency, which opens the door for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and federal aid for recovery efforts. The loans are aimed at helping business owners with immediate needs and have a six-month, interest-only repayment period.

Allen said the goal is to get local businesses “back on their feet” as quickly as possible “to cover expenses that will come from critical equipment they may need – loss of revenue, need for more capital, cleanups – whatever whatever the case may be.”

FEMA requests for assistance are online at Disasterassistance.gov. If specific county information is not yet available, residents can pre-apply and the application will be processed once the county has been included in the federal filing. Home Crisis Cleanup help is also available at crisiscleanup.org.

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