DUNDALK, Md. – More than 1,000 small companies have sought emergency federal loans to remain afloat following the March 26 collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge and closure of a lot of the Port of Baltimore, in response to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

One of these searching for assist was Ricshay Johnson, the proprietor of Salon Ricshay on North Liberty Street in Baltimore, who all of a sudden discovered her consumer appointment calendar much less crowded after the bridge collapse.

“I don’t know what that’s going to ivolve for me, or what that’s going to seem like down the road,” mentioned Johnson.

Johnson went to a Small Business Administration emergency aid middle in Dundalk, one in every of three opened within the Baltimore area. The journey to the SBA middle final week usually would have been unattainable given her salon’s busy schedule. Many of Johnson’s prospects, who come from exterior Baltimore, complained about visitors for the reason that bridge collapse, she mentioned.

The cargo ship Dali misplaced energy and collided with the Key Bridge, bringing down the principle span of the 1.6-mile bridge into the Patapsco River, and clogging a important entry level to the Port of Baltimore. Six building employees died within the collapse. The potential financial impression is huge, for the reason that Port of Baltimore straight and not directly employs some 51,000 individuals, greater than the inhabitants of Annapolis. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers mentioned it hopes to clear the channel and absolutely reopen the port by the tip of May.

The Small Business Administration, which seeks to help small companies in occasions of misery, mentioned companies affected by the bridge collapse might apply for financial damage catastrophe loans, which have a 4% rate of interest for small companies and three.25% charge for personal nonprofit organizations. Businesses from Maryland, Washington D.C. and choose counties from Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia are eligible. Businesses can wait a yr earlier than starting to repay the loans, in response to Yvette Jeffrey, Small Business Administration spokesperson.

The SBA opened emergency aid facilities on the Community College of Baltimore County’s Dundalk Campus, the CareFirst Engagement Center on South Clinton Street in Baltimore, and on the Arundel Christian Church in Glen Burnie.

Juan Proaño, chief government officer of The League of United Latin American Citizens, a civil rights group, has raised greater than $40,000 via a web-based GoFundMe fundraising marketing campaign for the households of the six victims as of April 9. Proano, who accompanied President Joe Biden and Gov. Wes Moore on their April 5 go to to Baltimore, mentioned these donations solely meet some primary wants for the deceased employees’ households.

“These households are going to should pay the electrical invoice by the tip of the month, they’re gonna should pay lease by the tip of the month,” mentioned Proano. “These Latino males are the first wage earners in these houses, proper. And so swiftly, you may have youngsters, you may have wives, now, single dad and mom, which are going to have to determine how they’re going to maneuver ahead.”

Other companies throughout town are nonetheless navigating the uncertainty that comes with the collapse.

Brett Rhodes of Zeke’s Coffee in Northeast Baltimore mentioned the lack of the bridge added an additional 20 minutes to their driving routes. “Now, if there’s a disabled car or accident throughout the morning hours, which will certainly occur, [it] could be a catastrophe for our drivers,” Rhodes mentioned in an electronic mail.

He rapidly acknowledged the broader context of the tragedy. “The actual victims listed below are the employees that had been caught on the bridge throughout the collapse,” Rhodes mentioned. “Who am I to complain about an inconvenience for a few years?”