* I own a small medical supply business in Chatsworth. It was severely damaged by the Northridge earthquake in January. In fact, we lost almost two-thirds of our inventory. We also were forced to move due to damage to our rented warehouse. I applied to the SBA immediately for an SBA disaster loan. All paperwork was taken by hand instead of mailing it because I was informed that this would expedite the process. I received loan approval at the beginning of April and was told the paperwork was right behind. I get a different story on every bi-weekly call I give the SBA. The latest story is six to eight weeks more, the middle of July. Six months from the earthquake!
We have been hanging on with the help of the manufacturers that we buy from, but they are reaching a point where they can no longer continue to fill our orders. I am not asking for a grant or a free ride, only a loan that I will pay back in full. By the time we receive the loan, we could be out of business.
I understand the large amount of applications to the SBA has made the process longer, but I need help immediately and have no one to turn to. I am sure that I am not the only small business in this situation. I am begging the SBA to please try to expedite the disaster loans to small business owners before it is too late.
MICHAEL R. STOPOL