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Boylston Street Businesses Get Patrons, Loan Offer In Boston

People walk and eat along Boylston Street, near the site of the Boston Marathon bombings, on Wednesday. Businesses in the area have reported strong customer support; they also have an option for federal loans to help them cope with losses.
People walk and eat along Boylston Street, near the site of the Boston Marathon bombings, on Wednesday. Businesses in the area have reported strong customer support; they also have an option for federal loans to help them cope with losses.

Faced with sharp financial losses stemming from the Boston Marathon bombing attack and the days of forced closure that followed, businesses in the affected Copley Square area can apply for federal help, the Small Business Administration announced Friday.

The news comes as people continue to flock to Boylston Street, to pay their respects to victims of the April 15 attacks and to support stores and restaurants that were open for the first Saturday since the bombings and the ensuing manhunt.

"We're looking at millions of dollars in losses," Meg Mainzer-Cohen, president of the Back Bay Association, tells The Boston Globe. "Some of it can be recouped by the passionate support we're receiving now. But there are some that, no matter what, won't be able to make it up."

The Small Business Administration plan would allow businesses to apply for long-term federal loans that come with low costs and an interest rate of 4 percent.

Today, Boylston Street's shops are open for business; the area reopened to pedestrians Wednesday.

As Rachel Gotbaum reports from Boston for our Newscast unit, one of the newly reopened stores is Marathon Sports. Its windows still showed signs of the attacks, but customers were there in force, manager Shane O'Hara tells Rachel.

"I've never opened up the door on a normal Saturday and had probably 15-20 people walk in, and also saying thank you," he said, his voice beginning to crack with emotion, "and giving me flowers and stuff."

Prior to the SBA announcement, some business owners in the Copley Square area had found themselves in the odd position of hoping the bombing attack would not be officially deemed an act of terrorism.

As WBUR's Curt Nickish reported Friday, that's because not all store owners have insurance policies that cover losses associated with a terrorist attack.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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