AUGUSTA — The Maine Emergency Management Agency is reaching out to Maine businesses affected economically by the major ice storm and arctic temperatures from Dec. 21, 2013, to Jan. 6, 2014.

The storm and ensuing frigid temperatures caused power outages, power surges, burst pipes, ice jams and other problems in many parts of the state, forcing some businesses to temporarily close while others suffered other economic losses.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program can be made available to small businesses, agricultural cooperatives and most private nonprofit organizations that have suffered substantial economic injury in a declared disaster area. Substantial economic injury means the business is unable to meet its obligations and to pay its ordinary and necessary operating expenses. The loans provide the necessary working capital to help small businesses survive until normal operations resume after a disaster.

Loans are not yet available. However, if the state can certify that at least five small business concerns in a county affected by the disaster have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the disaster and are in need of financial assistance not otherwise available on reasonable terms, the loan program could be activated.

An estimation worksheet from each business is required by the SBA for the governor to make his request for a disaster declaration. Affected business owners are encouraged to obtain a worksheet and return it completed and signed to the Maine Emergency Management Agency.

Contact is MEMA Individual Assistance Officer Richard Higgins at [email protected]

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