Many Vermont businesses effected by Tropical Storm Irene have horror stories about trying to get loans from the Small Business Administration.
Monday Congressman Peter Welch invited SBA officials to attend hearings in Waterbury and Wilmington, so they could hear first hand about the frustrations. The effort also explored possible solutions to streamline the process for small businesses hit by a disaster.
Albert Caron owns Waterbury Service Station, which was wiped out by Irene. The flood did $200,000 worth of damage to his business. He says he wasted months filling out forms and trying to collect duplicates to documents that had been washed away by the flood.
"By going through the process and going through all these forms over and over again it was a lot of wasted time. If it hadn't have been the fact that I needed the money, I would have never gone through it -- and to be honest with you if it happens again I would never call the SBA because it just isn't worth it," Caron said. "Not for the little bit of money that you get. and the interest rate you could save on it."
Rep. Welch said the SBA should create a new loan program that would lift the burden for abundant paperwork to deliver funding as soon as possible to help get folks back in business as soon as possible.
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