Highland Park businesses affected by July 4 parade massacre eligible for SBA loans

A business recovery center will be at the First Bank of Highland Park through Aug. 11.

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Dozens of mourners gather for a vigil near Central Avenue and St. Johns Avenue in downtown Highland Park on Tuesday, one day after a gunman killed at least seven people and wounded dozens more by firing an AR-15-style rifle from a rooftop onto a crowd attending Highland Park’s Fourth of July parade.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday announced disaster recovery help in the wake of Highland Park’s Fourth of July parade massacre.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times file

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday announced the federal Small Business Administration approved the state of Illinois’ request for businesses affected by the July 4 parade massacre in Highland Park to be eligible to apply for low-interest loans.

Pritzker said in a statement, “With the SBA’s assistance, Highland Park residents can focus on healing — knowing that the state and nation has their back.”

The loans would come from the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans program.

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said in a statement, “We greatly appreciate the support being provided by Governor J.B. Pritzker, Congressman Brad Schneider, and Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman of the U.S. Small Business Administration.”

“Through their efforts, a safety net is being offered to respond to the unique needs of our valued business community and not-for-profit organizations in the wake of the July 4 massacre that shook our community to its core. The SBA has been a valued resource in the past, and we are grateful that they are providing a swift and impactful response during this difficult time.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION: For a limited time, a business recovery center will be set up at the First Bank of Highland Park, 1835 First St. The hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The center is closed Sunday.

The center will close at 4 p.m. on Aug. 11.

Applicants may apply online using the electronic loan application via SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov/ela/s and should apply under SBA declaration No. 17536.

From the state: Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for people with hearing impairments) or emailing DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Loan applications may be downloaded at sba.gov/disaster.

The filing deadline to return economic injury applications is April 25, 2023.

Additional information about the state’s recovery efforts is available at https://www2.illinois.gov/ready/Pages/default.aspx.

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