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I-95 business relief coming

Gov. Josh Shapiro announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration has granted an administrative disaster declaration for the businesses impacted by the I-95 collapse.

With the interstate shut down in the early days after the collapse and the continuing construction in and around the area of the collapse, area businesses were impacted by changes to the traffic flow in and around the rebuild project.

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides low-interest loans for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private nonprofit organizations. The SBA can provide up to $2 million to help businesses meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred. The SBA tailors the repayment of each disaster loan to the borrower’s financial capability.

Several small businesses in the disaster area have sustained substantial economic injury as a result of the disaster and will be eligible to seek financial assistance.

“Over the past two weeks, I visited several of the small businesses in Northeast Philadelphia and I know the I-95 collapse significantly impacted their business,” Shapiro said. “My administration led an all-hands-on-deck response to get the highway reopened as quickly as possible so customers can return – but I know we need to do more to make those small businesses whole.”

“That’s why I directed my administration to work with the City of Philadelphia and the Small Business Administration to secure this declaration and give businesses access to low-interest, emergency loans. We’ll continue to cut through the red tape and provide the support Philadelphia needs as we work to rebuild and recover.”

Since the collapse, Shapiro and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Mike Carroll have led a coordinated state, local and federal response to reopen the roadway safely and as quickly as possible. Efforts remain ahead of schedule each step of the way to get traffic flowing on I-95 again. Thanks to this all-hands-on-deck approach and the around-the-clock work of the Philadelphia Building Trades and contractors, crews demolished the damaged roadway and completely rebuilt the highway just 12 days after the initial collapse – well ahead of experts’ original predictions.

Shapiro requested SBA disaster loan assistance following information provided by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, which conducted sample surveys of the affected businesses to determine the economic impact of the disaster. Loan applications will be made available online or by mail through the SBA.

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