Local News

Recovery Assistance Centers Open to Businesses

Posted September 26, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Help is on the way for businesses and employees put out of work due to Floyd's flooding. Five business recovery assistance centers opened Monday across eastern North Carolina.

The goal is to help business owners prepare disaster loan applications and handle creditors.

At the same time, the state and federal governments areoffering temporary jobsto workers left unemployed as a result of the storm.

When Charlie Narran opened the door to his auto repair business, he saw a colossal mess.

"Mud, sewer. You name it, it's in here," he said.

The flood water ruined everything from cars to equipment.

"Electronic motors and switches, everything mechanical is ruined," he said grimly.

Now Narran may have no choice but to shut the doors on his 30-year-old family business.

"We really can't afford to spend a lot of money in the place because it didn't have any flood insurance," he explained.

Some companies will reopen, but the flood waters also will close hundreds of eastern North Carolina businesses permanently.

Employees are also suffering. Rupus Riley used to have a job. He has a family, a house payment -- but today he has no job.

"I'll be all right," he says, crying.

Riley is not alone, either in his situation or his feeling of despair.

The unemployment rate is expected to go through the roof.

Instead of taking individual claims, the Rocky Mount unemployment office is taking 20 people at a time. Many have no home, no job -- but a faith that things will get better soon.

"I guess you can say it's joyous tears' cause I know the Lord will give me another one. He's provided the last one, this one, and I know he'll provide another one."

For more information about disaster relief employment opportunities, call1-877-562-0001.

Business owners can call 1-800-258-0862 to find out where the closest business recovery center is located.