SBA offers disaster assistance loans to Georgia

ATLANTA – The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Georgia small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced today. SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, to declare a disaster following a request received from Gov. Brian P. Kemp on March 17, 2020.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in the entire state of Georgia; and the contiguous counties of Barbour, Chambers, Cherokee, Cleburne, De Kalb, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Lee, Randolph, and Russell in Alabama; Baker, Columbia, Gadsden, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Madison, and Nassau in Florida; Cherokee, Clay, Jackson, and Macon in North Carolina; Abbeville, Aiken, Allendale, Anderson, Barnwell, Edgefield, Hampton, Jasper, McCormick, and Oconee in South Carolina; Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, and Polk in Tennessee.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist Georgia small businesses with federal disaster loans. We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19),” said Administrator Carranza.

SBA Customer Service Representatives will be available to answer questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and explain the application process.

“Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and

small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said Carranza.

“These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing,” Carranza added.

Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 18, 2020.
For more information about Coronavirus, please visit: Coronavirus.gov.
For more information about available SBA resources and services, please visit: SBA.gov/coronavirus.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

Georgia gas prices plunge

Georgia gas prices have fallen 9.0 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.07/g today, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 5,883 stations. Gas prices in Georgia are 17.6 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and stand 32.3 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Georgia is priced at $1.69/g today while the most expensive is $2.80/g, a difference of $1.11/g. The lowest price in the state today is $1.69/g while the highest is $2.80/g, a difference of $1.11/g. The cheapest price in the entire country today stands at $0.57/g while the most expensive is $4.99/g, a difference of $4.42/g.

The national average price of gasoline has fallen 14.3 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $2.22/g today. The national average is down 21.2 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands 32.9 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

Historical gasoline prices in Georgia and the national average going back five years:

March 16, 2019: $2.39/g (U.S. Average: $2.54/g)

March 16, 2018: $2.39/g (U.S. Average: $2.53/g)

March 16, 2017: $2.17/g (U.S. Average: $2.29/g)

March 16, 2016: $1.88/g (U.S. Average: $1.96/g)

March 16, 2015: $2.26/g (U.S. Average: $2.42/g)

Neighboring areas and their current gas prices:

Augusta- $2.01/g, down 10.5 cents per gallon from last week’s $2.11/g.

Macon- $2.06/g, down 12.8 cents per gallon from last week’s $2.19/g.

Atlanta- $2.03/g, down 12.3 cents per gallon from last week’s $2.15/g.

“It’s coming true- gas prices are plummeting in every town, city and state with the national average seeing one of its biggest weekly declines in the last decade,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “The number of stations selling gasoline under $2/gal has risen to nearly 40,000, up from 15,000 a week ago, while retail prices have collapsed to as low as $1.24/gallon in Oklahoma City last week, with more price drops coming for nearly every station in the week ahead as they continue to pass along the lower replacement cost. The root cause continues to be coronavirus related, since demand for oil slumped globally, inducing the current price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia as they both raise output, causing oil prices to crash through the floor. Such a large decline at this time of year is mind-blowing, as gas prices have risen in all but one year in the last ten during the spring. All good things may not last forever, however, as rumors swirl that Russia and Saudi Arabia are holding high level talks to reign in the collapse in oil prices, which could eventually end the party at the pump.”

Chamber welcomes nominations

Do you know a business, businessperson or community member

who should be recognized?

Nominate them for this prestigious honor that recognizes the best Business, Businessman, Businesswoman & Humanitarian in town.

The winners will be announced at the Chatsworth-Eton-Murray County Chamber Annual Meeting & Banquet on March 10th.

Nominees will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Businesses must be a member of the Chatsworth-Eton-Murray County Chamber of Commerce.
  • Current and past financial performance
  • Innovation in product or service offered
  • Must be involved in the development and growth of our community
  • Nominees not receiving the award are eligible for re-nomination next year

Please submit nominations no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday,

February 28, 2020.

Email nominations to densmore@murraycountychamber.org

or mail to 126 N. 3rd Avenue-Chatsworth