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Federal disaster loans now available to Pinellas, Pasco county businesses impacted by red tide

The U.S. Small Business Administration has extended its disaster loan program to include Pinellas and Pasco county businesses struggling against the impacts of the toxic algae bloom.

Red tide isn’t just killing wildlife, it’s busting businesses bottom lines by keeping customers away.

However, financial help from the federal government is now available for shops and restaurants being impacted by the persistent toxic algae bloom.

RED TIDE: Click here for our complete coverage

BY THE NUMBERS: Red tide's impact in Pinellas County

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has extended its disaster loan program to include Pinellas and Pasco county businesses.

The availability follows a request from Gov. Rick Scott that small businesses and nonprofit organizations in Pinellas County receive the same program benefits as other declared counties.

The same loans were opened up to businesses in Manatee and Sarasota counties earlier this month.

►PREVIOUS: Disaster loan outreach centers open to help businesses impacted by red tide

The SBA can provide up to $2 million to eligible small businesses to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred. Interest rates on the federal loans cannot exceed 4 percent and a term of 30 years.

Applications can be filled out at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Customer service representatives with SBA will be available to answer questions about the program and to help individuals complete their applications at a disaster loan outreach center opening at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25 inside the St. Petersburg College Epicenter.

Pinellas County

  • St. Petersburg College Epicenter
  • 13805 58th Street N, Suites 2-200, Clearwater
  • Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Similar outreach centers remain operational in Manatee, Pasco and Sarasota counties

Manatee County

  • Manatee County Library Island Branch
  • 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach
  • Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Pasco County

  • West Pasco Entrepreneur Center
  • 4532 US Highway 19, New Port Richey
  • Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Sarasota County

  • Bae Ridge Park
  • 4430 South Lockwood Road, Sarasota
  • Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The filing deadline to return applications is June 4, 2019.

These loans are different from the state-funded bridge loans the Pinellas County Economic Development Office was taking applications to help small businesses make up for the loss of income.

►PREVIOUS: Some beach business owners impacted by red tide eager for emergency loans

RELATED: Red tide forces early closures for some Pinellas beach businesses

The federal disaster loans are being made available to businesses in Pasco County because of its proximity to Pinellas County.

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