Gov. Janet Mills is seeking assistance from federal agencies to help businesses and nonprofits affected by last week’s mass shooting in Lewiston.

Mills is asking the Small Business Administration to make businesses and nonprofits in Androscoggin and Sagadahoc counties eligible for low-interest loans to mitigate the losses associated with shelter-in-place orders imposed by law enforcement as they searched for a gunman responsible for killing 18 people and wounding 13 on Oct. 25. The order was imposed that night and lifted late Friday afternoon.

If Maine’s application is approved, eligible small businesses and private nonprofit organizations could apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million with interest rates not to exceed 4 percent, with terms of up to 30 years, according to a release from Mills. Eligibility, loan amounts, and terms will be determined by the SBA.

The loans could be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

“I ask the U.S. Small Business Administration to quickly approve our request so that impacted businesses can apply for necessary relief, and my administration will continue to look for opportunities for additional non-loan financial support for impacted businesses,” she said.

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