AP Investigation Finds Gulf Residents Reluctant to Seek SBA Help

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Scott Peterson is still angry over fighting with the Small Business Administration for a loan to reopen his flooded seafood restaurant in Waveland after Hurricane Katrina.

He reopened in 2006, but not before maxing out his credit cards and borrowing money from his parents.

Peterson is hurting again because the oil spill has made it hard to find seafood. Despite his resentment with SBA, he's contemplating making another request for help.

People in Gulf communities are wary of asking the government for help. Many say they did so because they had no choice after Katrina.

But many who recalled their battles with SBA say they dread the possibility of asking again.

SBA officials insist the agency has made changes to handle future disasters by upgrading technology and streamlining the entire loan process to improve how it helps victims.

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