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SBA to offer low-interest loans to Missouri storm victims, after FEMA turns down aid request

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 15, 2012 - Missouri  Gov. Jay Nixon just announced that the federal Small Business Administration will provide financial assistance, in the form of loans, to eligible residents and businesses in 14 Missouri counties who suffered damage during the severe storms and tornadoes that struck southern Missouri in late February.

“The low-interest disaster loans will be available to qualified homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations with eligible losses,” Nixon said in an announcement today.

His request for direct aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency was denied a few days ago.

The counties eligible for SBA assistance are: Barry, Camden, Christian, Dallas, Douglas, Greene, Hickory, Laclede, Lawrence, Ozark, Polk, Stone, Taney and Webster. 

“Missouri again dealt with deadly and destructive tornadoes and severe storms late last month, and residents and businesses are facing substantial costs for clean up, repair and rebuilding,” said Nixon in a statement. “The SBA low-interest loans that will now be available in these 14 counties can assist eligible residents and businesses as they rebuild and recover.”

Jo Mannies is a freelance journalist and former political reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.