Businesses affected by harmful water advisories asked to file declaration

Businesses affected by harmful water advisories asked to file declaration
You can see the blue-green hue of the water here on Lake Borgne, a lake in southeastern Louisiana near the state line. (Source: Jason Hamilton)

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Businesses that have been impacted by water advisories throughout South Mississippi may have a chance to recover some kind of compensation.

The Small Business Administration announced this week that Gov. Phil Bryant can declare an Economic Injury Declaration due to the algal blooms if at least five businesses from each of the affected counties show that they were impacted by the water closures.

According to SBA, the Economic Injury Declaration (referred to as an EID) means a business is "unable to meet its obligations and to pay its ordinary and necessary operating expenses. EID loans provide the necessary working capital to help small businesses survive until normal operations resume after a disaster.”

The Harmful Algal Bloom has plagued the Mississippi Gulf Coast since June, impacting vendors along the beach, the seafood industry, and tourism.

In order for the Governor to request an EID, at least five businesses in each of the primary counties have to show they have suffered a substantial economic injury. Additionally, the degree of economic injury must be so severe that financial assistance at reasonable rates and terms is not otherwise available, creating the necessity for federal involvement in the form of subsidized loans.

If you are a business owner and want to file a claim for a declaration, contact the coordinator below where your business is located:

  • Hancock County: Maureen Anderson, 228-467-0172
  • Harrison County: Michelle Watts, 228-865-4002
  • Jackson County: Sonya Carter, 228-938-2850

All coast beaches remain under a water contact advisory at this time. You can monitor the beaches and Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality testing by visiting the MDEQ website HERE.

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