Businesses in eight counties that were hurt by the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge can apply for low-interest loans under a program announced Friday by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Disaster loans of as much as $1.5 million are available to eligible small businesses in Hennepin, Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne and Wright counties. The loans have an interest rate of 4 percent, with terms ranging to 30 years.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) determines eligibility based on the size and type of a business, and makes loans after assessing an applicant's financial condition.
Carl Sherrill of the SBA's office of disaster assistance encouraged businesses to apply even if they're not sure of the extent of the hardship caused by the bridge's Aug. 1 collapse.
"They don't have to wait until the bank has foreclosed on their business before they come to us," he said.
Loans come directly from the U.S. Treasury, so the pool of applicants isn't limited by anything other than need, Sherrill said. The loans also can be easily adjusted down the road if recipients need more money, or less.
The SBA will start taking applications Monday. Applications are due by May 22, 2008.