Highland Park businesses recovering from shooting with help of small business loans

Businesses that were affected by last month's massacre in Highland Park can apply for help from the federal Small Business Administration.

They'll have to prove how their business was damaged, but loans up to $2 million could be available.

Officials estimate that 114 businesses in Highland Park were directly affected, including those shut down for several days by order of the FBI and local police.


"Of the 114 businesses that were directly affected, the majority of them are service-based industries, business services, personal services," said Geri Aglipay, of the SBA. "The second highest was restaurant services. Now you can imagine they have to throw out a lot of food that day because -- that's a lot! Then the third one was retail."

The SBA has set up a temporary office in Highland Park through Aug. 11.

Owners who think they can document financial damages caused by the massacre can get assistance applying for a loan. Officials said the interest rate would be about 2.9% and could be repaid over a term of up to 20 years.

The deadline for completing an application is Apr. 25, 2023. Among costs covered are mental health services to cope with the killings.

"The business resource center for the first time is opening today. It will be here until next Thursday, August 11th, at 4 p.m. and so no one should feel they have to process this alone. There's people here to help," said Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill.

Officials believe there was a "ripple effect" of financial damage from the July 4 massacre, so businesses in Lake, McHenry and Kenosha counties are eligible to apply for help, if they can document losses they suffered.