Small Business Development Center Open in Sioux Center to Help Flood Victims

Sioux Center, Iowa — The Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Center opened a location in the Centre Mall in Sioux Center Friday to address the needs of local flood victims. 

Larry Wajda, Northwest Iowa SBDC Regional Director, says his work is typically with people that are self-employed; keeping them in business, working on capital fundraising if they need it, whether it’s through a lender, or through state or federal programs.  He says because they are an arm of the SBA, he is also tasked with helping small businesses recover economically after the floods. 

Wajda says FEMA funding goes through the SBA, so counselors at his center are also helping families with personal loss.  He says the business recovery center coordinates the efforts and connects the dots between the SBA and FEMA.

Monday was the first full day of operation, and the center served 20 individuals. 

Wajda says they assist people with filling out disaster relief forms, answering questions, or just providing information.

When it comes to relief for businesses, Wajda says it boils down to how a business wants to start over, or whether a business even wants to start over. Relief for both individuals and businesses is in the form of low interest loans designed to help families and businesses get back on their feet.  He says they also have people from his office knocking on doors in each of the communities affected by the floods trying to contact everyone. 

Wajda encourages everyone affected by the flood to apply for relief saying that even if you don’t qualify, it’s better to get a definitive answer.  Wajda says there’s a lot of misinformation floating around, and he wants everyone to get the right information, and they can do that at the SBRC.  He also urges caution stating scammers are already hard at work.

Wajda encourages people with questions to call him directly at 712-580-8619.  In addition, he says they have battery packs for charging phones, computers, etc., as well as water bottles at the SBRC in Sioux Center for those that need them.  Those items, and the services they provide are free.  The SBA Recovery Center will be open at the Centre Mall in Sioux Center this week, and depending on need, next week as well.  (Above photo courtesy of the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office)

(Courtesy fellow Community First Broadcasting station KSOU in Sioux Center)