Hogan requests disaster declaration for Ellicott City businesses

Posted at 11:34 PM, Aug 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-10 06:25:03-04
Much of the city remained blocked off Tuesday as barricades turn people away unless they have the proper access. As the cleanup continues, small business owners are beginning to wonder where they go moving forward.
Mojan Bagha has owned "Main Street Oriental Rugs" for nearly 20 years. Now the doors are closed and his inventory flooded. His rugs are nearly ruined and much of his inventory sits in the back of a rented truck. 
"Probably, there's about 100 rugs, including the small ones, so you're talking at least $200,000," he said, looking into the back of the box truck.
His hope is a letter sent by state officials to the U.S. Small Business Administration asking that a disaster declaration be made, will allow businesses, like his, access to low interest rate loans for repairs. 
"Everyone is trying to help," Bagha said. "They're trying to make it possible for everyone to rebuild."
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Minutes away at Kelsey's Restaurant and Irish Pub, a fundraiser was organized for flood victims. Ten percent of all sales benefited those impacted, while every penny of a silent auction went right where it's needed.
"It's very heartwarming to see everybody step up," said Mike Cihak, a regional manager at 1st Mariner Bank, the organizer of the event.
And as temporary help makes its way into the city, businesses hope more help comes quickly.
"We are small businesses, but a small business cannot afford to lose very much," Bagha said. 
A spokesperson for the Small Business Administration said it generally takes about 21 days for an application to be reviewed and approved, and five days for funds to be dispersed.

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