Alexandria, Va., July 1, 2002 å-The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) today praised the Small Business Administration (SBA) for approving 427 travel agency applications in 48 states and Puerto Rico for a total of $21.6 million in disaster loans as of June 25, 2002. The average loan size was $50,579.
The deadline for travel agencies to submit new SBA loan applications is Sept. 30, 2002. The SBA reinstated and extended the loan program`s application filing deadline to businesses outside the disaster areas to be consistent with businesses in the declared disaster areas of the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
“We are extremely pleased to see that so many travel agents have received these much-needed SBA disaster loans. And, the fact that the SBA has extended the application deadline speaks to the need for ensuring that as many small-business owners as possible get the financial help they need to get back on their feet,” said ASTA President and CEO Richard M. Copland, CTC.
ASTA was instrumental in the March 12 action by the SBA to include those agencies with annual revenues of up to $3 million, rather than $1 million as was originally set. Last October, ASTA’s lobbying efforts paid off when the SBA agreed to expand its Economic Injury Disaster Loan program to include travel agencies around the country who are suffering as a result of Sept. 11.
ASTA members interested in applying for the SBA loan program can find vital information on ASTAnet by accessing, www.astanet.com/travel/information/info_sbaloans2.asp or by visiting www.sba.gov.
About ASTA: The mission of the American Society of Travel Agents and its affiliate organizations is to enhance the professionalism and profitability of members worldwide through effective representation in industry and government affairs, education and training, and by identifying and meeting the needs of the traveling public. The Society is the world`s largest and most influential travel trade association with over 24,000 members in 140 countries.