SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Small Businesses in Massachusetts Affected by a Natural Gas Line Explosion

Robert Nelson

WASHINGTON – Low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)s from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available to Massachusetts small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and private nonprofit organizations affected by the natural gas line explosion on Sept. 13, 2018.

SBA Administrator Linda McMahon made the loans available in response to a letter from
Gov. Charles D. Baker on Oct. 19, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA.  The declaration covers Essex County and the adjacent counties of Middlesex and Suffolk in Massachusetts; Hillsborough and Rockingham in New Hampshire.

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Massachusetts with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist small businesses with federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans,” said McMahon. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

SBA’s Customer Service Representatives will be available at the Business Recovery Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.

The Center is located in the following community and is open as indicated:

Essex County

Olde Station Square Building

65 Merrimack St.

Lawrence, MA 01843

Opens:  Thursday, Oct. 25 at 11 a.m.

Hours:  Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Closed:  Sunday, Oct. 28

Closes:  Thursday, Nov. 1 at 4 p.m.


“The SBA can help affected small businesses and nonprofit organizations overcome their economic losses by offering working capital loans, but the help cannot start until they submit an SBA disaster loan application to us,” said SBA’s Massachusetts District Director Robert H. Nelson.

Eligible entities may qualify for loans up to $2 million.  The SBA offers economic injury loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.  The rates on these loans are 3.675 percent for small businesses and 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years.  Eligibility for these working capital loans are based on the size and type of business and its financial resources.  These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred.  The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at

Applications and program information are available by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at
1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing Loan applications can also be downloaded at Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for economic injury is July 23, 2019.


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