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Small Business Administration Officials Meet With Kentucky Lenders

The federal Small Business Administration is seeking to further increase lending in Kentucky. SBA officials had their annual meeting with representatives from national and local banks in Louisville today.

The SBA works on two fronts. The agency consults businesses to see if they can afford loans, then guarantees loans once they’re made.

Lending in Kentucky has been on the rise. In the last year, banks have distributed nearly $200 million in SBA guaranteed loans to businesses in the commonwealth. That’s up nearly more than $40 million from the year prior. 

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SBA Says Thousands of Louisvillians Aren't Returning Applications

The Small Business Administration says there are about five-thousand Louisvillians who were mailed loan applications after registering for aid with FEMA who haven’t returned the forms. SBA spokesperson Mike Peacock says about 66-hundred people who suffered flood damage in the August fourth flood received the applications.

“If they’re receiving that application from the SBA,”says Peacock, “maybe they didn’t get enough from FEMA to make all the repairs that were necessary.”

He adds it’s in almost everyone’s best interest to fill out the application and return it – even if they can’t afford a loan.

“For those who can’t afford a loan, or can’t qualify for a loan, if they’re denied by us, then they’re referred back to FEMA for additional possible grant assistance,” he says.

He says he doesn’t know how long the two SBA centers in Louisville will be open, but the longest they’ll be open is October 13th, which is the deadline to apply for federal disaster aid.

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FEMA Handing Over Offices To SBA

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will begin scaling back its flood-recovery operations in Louisville.

The two Disaster Recovery Centers in Louisville will close on Saturday evening. On Monday they will re-open as Small Business Administration offices with limited FEMA staff for the following few days. The offices will offer information on damage claims and loans for anyone who applied for FEMA relief following last month’s flood.

FEMA spokesperson Ted Stuckey says FEMA is handing over the offices, but is not leaving Louisville altogether.

“There are still inspectors out,” he says. “They’ll continue to that until those jobs are complete.”

Stuckey says FEMA will accept new damage claims online and over the phone after the office switchover.

“We need to push people into the disaster recovery centers who have not visited those while that opportunity is still there,” he says. “They’re currently fully-staffed with FEMA folks and can answer any and all questions regarding your FEMA application.”

New claims can be filed by visiting the recovery centers at 2911 Taylor Boulevard and 1701 Muhammad Ali Boulevard before 6 PM on Saturday or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA after Saturday.

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Forum to Help Businesses Secure Govt. Contracts

Louisville area small business owners are being invited to participate in a forum Monday on how to secure government contracts.

The event will include representatives from the Small Business Administration, local, state and federal governments and the Professional Services Council, the trade organization for government contractors.

The council’s Colleen Preston says all will be available to provide information about what can seem to be a daunting process of contracting with a government agency.

“We’ll be going through and explaining how it is you go about selling to the government, what the marketplace is, what the opportunities are, particularly for small busineses,” Preston said.

She says the federal government alone spends more than $400 billion on contracting services each year.

The forum will be held from 8:00am-1:00pm at the Louisville Marriott Downtown.  It’s organized by the office of Congressman John Yarmuth.