Sparks urges governor to request SBA assistance for oil spill

MONTGOMERY, AL - Agriculture and Industries Commissioner Ron Sparks urges Governor Bob Riley to ask the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) to include Alabama in the list of states where the SBA will offer low-interest loans to small businesses suffering from losses due to the oil spill in the Gulf.

"Louisiana and Mississippi have already been added to this program and we hope that Alabama businesses will be able to apply for these loans as well," said Sparks. "I want to personally ask the Governor to make the request so that the Small Business Administration can take steps to start helping our state recover as soon as possible."

The SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) can offer working capital loans of up to $2 million at an interest rate of 4% with terms up to 30 years. According to the SBA, the loans may be used by small businesses that are unable to obtain credit elsewhere to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster's impact.

These loans can provide vital economic assistance to fishing and fishing-dependent businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. More information can be found at

In a letter sent to Governor Riley today, Sparks strongly encouraged him to request that Mobile and Baldwin Counties be included in the EIDL assistance program to provide economic help that is desperately needed by the seafood industry of Alabama due to the oil spill.

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