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Small Business Association Offering Disaster Loans for Businesses Affected by Key Bridge Collapse

The Small Business Association announced Saturday that mid-Atlantic small businesses affected by the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore can apply for disaster loans now until Dec. 30, 2024. This announcement comes as a relief for many local businesses grappling with the aftermath of the bridge disaster.

“As Baltimore and the wider community mourn and start to rebuild, the SBA and the Biden-Harris Administration stand ready to help local small businesses get through the economic disruption caused by the bridge collapse,” SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman said in a statement. Maryland Gov. Wes Moore requested a disaster declaration from the SBA on Friday, which were then issued according to agency documents.

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What You Need To Know About Disaster Loans

The Small Business Association will make disaster loans available for mid-Atlantic small businesses economically harmed by the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse. These loans, designed to provide financial aid to businesses in distress, can be a lifeline for those struggling to recover from the impact of the bridge collapse.

Eligibility for the low-interest, long-term Economic Injury Disaster Loans will be based on financial impact from the disaster, not necessarily actual damage to a business. This criteria ensures that businesses that have suffered economic losses due to the bridge collapse can access the necessary funds to stay afloat during this challenging time.

The loans will be available for small businesses and non-profits in the declared disaster area ÔÇö┬áwhich covers the entire state of Maryland; as well as communities and counties in the District of Columbia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia ÔÇö┬áwho can apply for loans up to $2 million to cover revenue lost from the bridge collapse.

Francisco S├ínchez, Jr., Associate Administrator for the SBAÔÇÖs Office of Disaster Recovery and Resilience, emphasized the importance of these loans for businesses that rely on the transportation and movement of goods from the Baltimore Harbor and along the Francis Scott Key Bridge for their economic livelihood.

Bridge wreckage removal began Saturday. Demolition crews began work to cut portions of the bridge into smaller sections for safer removal by crane, while divers performed underwater assessments of the area, according to a Key Bridge Response Command release. The process of clearing the wreckage is crucial for the eventual reopening of the bridge and resumption of normal business operations in the area.

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