WASHINGTON -- After pressure from Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, the Small Business Administration has reversed its position and extended the nationwide application deadline for economic injury disaster loans to September 30, 2002.

Sen. Kerry successfully fought to extend the application deadline, which expired on May 22 for national businesses, and set to expire on June 21 for Virginia-based businesses, to September 30, 2002 for all small businesses nationwide.

“Small businesses crippled by the economic fall-out of the September 11th terrorist attacks need our help, whether they're in the Carolinas or California, New York or New Mexico. Government needs to be accountable to these businesses which create the jobs and pay the taxes that help make America strong. I'm glad the Administration has finally reconsidered their position and agreed to give these businesses the rest of summer to seek a federal lifeline,” said Kerry. “Many small businesses across the country are still sorting things out and picking up the pieces -- no arbitrary bureaucratic deadline should prevent them from getting the help they need to keep their doors open.”

Originally, the SBA rejected Kerry’s request for an extension, but after meetings, calls and letters to top SBA and OMB officials, Kerry’s persistence paid off.