Gov. Sarah Palin announced Friday that her office had been notified by the federal Small Business Administration that its request for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration had been approved for Juneau.
The declaration is based on the high power costs stemming from the April 16 avalanches that left the city reliant on emergency backup diesel electricity.
Palin had earlier said Juneau did not qualify for federal disaster status, but an "economic injury" declaration that provides business loans requires only showing that at least five businesses have been hurt by the disaster.
The declaration qualified Juneau for loans of up to $1.5 million at a rate of 4 percent, said Karen Forsland, SBA district director for Alaska.
"We try to keep the rate low because we know many businesses have other loans they're dealing with as well," she said.
The loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can't be paid because of the disaster. Loan terms can be up to 30 years.
The SBA also announced that members of its disaster team would be in Juneau beginning Tuesday to assist business owners with applying for the loans.
The declaration qualifies Juneau businesses to apply for the loans, but businesses in neighboring communities can also apply if they can show they have suffered because of the Juneau disaster.
The temporary office will be open from 8 a.m. to noon, Tuesday through Friday, through May 29, in the Juneau Empire Building at 3100 Channel Drive, Suite 315.
For more information, call 800-659-2955 or visit the SBA's Web site at www.sba.gov/disasterassistance.
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