WASHINGTON - Sen. John F. Kerry, chairman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today announced that businesses affected by the devastating June 9, 2002, fire in Roxbury, Mass., are now eligible for economic injury disaster loans through the Small Business Administration. The announcement came following the formal declaration of a disaster area in Suffolk County and the contiguous counties of Essex, Middlesex, and Norfolk.

“There's nothing we can do to erase the losses suffered by the Roxbury community, but we can offer a financial lifeline to provide some hope for small-business owners as they work towards recovery,” said Sen. Kerry. "I will continue to work to do whatever I can to help this community get back on its feet and rebuild Dudley Square."

The interest rate for eligible small businesses, and small agricultural cooperatives, is 3.5 percent. Those hurt by the Roxbury Fire and wishing to apply for economic injury assistance must file applications on or before March 27, 2003, at the following address:

U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Area 1 Office 360 Rainbow Blvd. S., Third Floor Niagara Falls, NY 14303