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Like all Americans, Hector Barreto says he was "deeply saddened and shocked" by the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
As administrator of the Small Business Administration, Barreto will play a role in helping New Yorkers recover from the devastation caused by the attacks. Working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the SBA will offer low-interest loans to businesses to help, them rebuild or cover operating expenses until they are back on their feet.
"Our disaster assistance office for the area is preparing for a major effort in Manhattan," Barreto said.
As of Sept. 17, SBA had approved 10 disaster loans in Manhattan totaling $488,900, and FEMA had referred 1,326 calls to SBA for disaster loans assistance.
Before the World Trade Center collapsed, the SBA had made $950 million in disaster loans to 46,640 businesses, homeowners and renters this year, including $350 million to Tropical Storm Allison's flooding victims in Texas and Louisiana.
Besides disaster loans, the SBA also will guarantee long-term loans that will help more than 40,000 small businesses start or expand, and will provide business counseling and technical assistance to more than 1 million people.
But the SBA's programs reach only a fraction of the nation's 25 million small businesses.