Small business denied help from SBA after Hurricane Florence

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Shannon Ward looking into his garage after clearing out all of the damaged equipment on October 18, 2018. (Photo: Basil John/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Businesses are still trying to find their footing after Hurricane Florence. But others are struggling to get help from the small business administration.

“The hurricane comes in and lost everything in here,” OSC automotive and repair owner Shannon Ward said.

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After the hurricane, Ward opened his shop on Princess Street to a flood of problems.

“I lost everything in the shop and you know, came up here, checked on everything and everything is completely destroyed,” Ward said.

He says water broke through the roof of the building and flooded the facility and damaged a lot of equipment. He contacted the small business administration to get help but he says they informed him they could not help him. Ward says he was at a loss for words when they turned him down.

“Once they denied me, I was really shocked and surprised. You know, cause without assistance or help or anything else, it’s going to be hard for anybody with a small business trying to get back in operation and everything,” Ward said.

Ward says he’s heard of other businesses dealing with the same issue but he’s not letting this stop him from starting his business back up from square one.

“Good friends, good family and everything. I’m going to pursue to look for new property and possible build a building and new shop and try to get up a new clientele and customer base and everything,” Ward said.

But for now, Ward has to close up shop until further notice. Ward says the SBA denied him because he’s not the land owner. We reached out to the SBA to find out more but we have not heard back from them.