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Photo by Kaique Rocha from Pexels. Free use photo.

Local small businesses that have suffered significant economic injury because of the coronavirus pandemic now have access to financial aid.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved the state’s request for disaster assistance, according to a news release issued Friday by the governor’s office. Gov. Henry McMaster requested the disaster declaration in a March 17 letter to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.

The disaster declaration means South Carolina’s small businesses suffering financially may qualify for low-interest federal disaster loans.

“These low-interest loans are of monumental importance to our business community," McMaster said in the release. "There's no doubt our state's small businesses have suffered losses throughout this incredibly difficult time, but help is on the way.”

Small business owners can apply for assistance online at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

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