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Small Business Owner Determined to Get Back On His Feet

Dozens of small businesses were destroyed during the historic flooding, but now they are trying to make a come back.
Inside Elite Tool & Design in Columbia.


Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Dozens of small businesses in the Midlands were destroyed during the historic flooding.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is encouraging business owners to reach out to them for help during their rebuilding process.

However, one small business owner says he doesn't want to have to borrow the money.
"It's kind of hard to come in and see every thing the way it was," says Rick Brewer, owner of Elite Tool & Design Inc.

Brewer says he has to start back at square one after five to six feet of water destroyed his small business.
"It wiped out the offices, computers are all gone and we're trying to get our machinery up and running."

Brewer and his Partner Bobby Edwards started the company together 20 years ago.
"We started out as two men and a small shop and we just never did the loan thing," says Brewer. "We built it up a piece at a time."

Brewer doesn't plan on applying for a loan, but he knows that help is available with the SBA.

Alana Chavez with the SBA says they can offer low interest rate loans to home and business owners.
"A lot of times the businesses need both physical assistance as well as economic injury and they can borrow up to $2 million with that with a small interest rate as low as four percent."

Chavez says these loans can be paid over a 30-year-period. 

Governor Haley is also focused on helping small businesses, as 95 percent of South Carolina's economy comes from them.
"Small business owners by nature have a lot of pride, they don't ask for help, but it's about how do we get them up and running again," says Gov. Haley.

Brewer has an SBA application on hand, but hopes that with the help of friends and fundraising he won't have to borrow the money to get back on his feet.
"I think a lot of people thought it would be different than that, but we're trying not to get a loan. We want to make it through without it," says Brewer.

The deadline to apply for a SBA loan is December 4th. For more information you can check out the link to the SBA website here.

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