Martin County businesses hurt by algae outbreak can apply for disaster loans

Martin County officials are encouraging businesses impacted by the algae outbreak that turned some Treasure Coast waterways a blue-green this summer to apply for state and federal disaster assistance.

Water full of algae laps along the Sewell's Point shore on the St. Lucie River under an Ocean Boulevard bridge on June 27, 2016.  (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Water full of algae laps along the Sewell’s Point shore on the St. Lucie River under an Ocean Boulevard bridge on June 27, 2016. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

U.S. Small Business Administration has set up a “Business Recovery Center” at Martin County Fairgrounds. SinceĀ  opening on July 13, 40 local businesses have visited the center to get information on disaster loan assistance, the county said.

The Center is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday thru Friday, and will operate until further notice, the county said.

Small businesses and nonprofits can borrow up to $2 million, with interest rates of 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 4 percent for small businesses, according to Martin officials.

Applicants may apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela, the county said.

Martin County officials are also encouraging business owners to complete the state’s business damage assessment survey.

“The information provided in this survey will be shared among various state and local agencies to expedite implementation of appropriate disaster relief programs for businesses,” the county said in a news release. “This survey assists the State with determining if relief services for businesses should be activated.”

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