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Panhandle Businesses Feeling Oyster Pain Can Apply For Federal Loans

Thomas Andrew Gustafson

Franklin County small business owners who’ve lost revenue because of the Apalachicola Bay oyster fishery collapse can now apply for federal loans. Franklin and its three surrounding Panhandle counties were recently given the economic emergency designation.

Loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to any business or nonprofit who can show the oyster shortage caused them to lose a big portion of revenue.

Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce Director Anita Grove says borrowing money can help, but loans aren’t for everyone.

“Everybody’s at a different place in their life. Some people are expanding. Some people are getting ready to retire. Some people are changing the way they’re doing business. So that’s certainly a personal and a business decision whether you want to take on a loan, " she says.

Loans of up to $2 million can be paid back over 30 years. Business owners have until next July to apply. More information is available at theSBA website.