Small businesses to receive help for lost employees

Tuesday, October 16, 2001

A federal loan program is helping small Iowa businesses that have lost critical employees who are members of the Iowa National Guard.

The U.S. Small Business Administration, a group which usually helps small business damaged by natural disasters, is now offering low interest loans to those that employ military reservists called to active duty.

"The loss of a key person, even for a short time, can devastate any small company," SBA administrator Hector V. Barreto said in a written statement. "Small businesses sometimes fail when such an employee is called away to military service."

The SBA offers up to $1.5 million in loans to cover actual economic injury not covered by insurance, with a maximum interest rate of 4 percent and repayment terms up to 30 years.

The program is designed to make military service less of a burden for small businesses.

Those interested in applying for SBA help should call Gary Clifton, the SBA regional employee assigned to handle military-related claims from Iowa, at 800-366-6303.