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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Charlestown businesses can get low-interest loans to cover losses, fix storm damage

EDC comes to Westerly tomorrow
By Will Collette

One of the big surprises revealed at the October Charlestown business forum organized by the Economic Improvement Commission is that very few businesses in Charlestown take advantage of low-cost capital available from the federal Small Business Administration or from the RI Economic Development Corporation.

After Hurricane Sandy, Governor Chafee directed the EDC to set up a $1 million storm-related loan fund. Charlestown businesses that suffered disruptions and loss of business from Sandy or suffered damage may qualify for loans of between $10,000 and $25,000. Interest rates range from 2.5-4% and the term of the loans can run from one to four years.

Staff from the EDC will be set up in Westerly tomorrow to take applications or provide information. They will be at the Westerly Community Credit Union, 122 Granite Street in Westerly on Wednesday, November 14 from 9 AM to 4 PM.

To qualify, businesses will need to show that Sandy caused business disruption (three to six days without electricity will certainly do that) or damage (such as lost food), adequate insurance and other minimal lending requirements.

If you can’t meet with the EDC staff in Westerly tomorrow, you may still have a shot at getting some help. Contact the EDC directly. But don’t wait too long. That $1 million may go quickly.