Assistance still available for Irma victims

- The lost money is enough to make anyone hungry for help.

"If I had to take a stab in the dark, I would say (we lost) maybe $20,000 to $25,000," said Matt Moskos.

Without power, Smoke Shack went without revenue for six days.

"Everyone is being lenient, I will say that," said Moskos. "Most everyone we work with -- vendors -- they understand the situation. People have been very lenient in getting stuff paid back."

Because of the economic injury, he could apply for a low-interest loan from the Small Business Administration's disaster relief office.  Businesses whose buildings were damaged can too.

The SBA also helps homeowners and renters with loans to repair or replace real estate or cars.

"We cannot say exactly what the timeframe would be, but my encouragement would be, do not wait," said Mary Gipson, a public affairs specialist with the Dept. of Small Business Administration.

FEMA can also help. They provide survivors with grants for food, temporary housing, childcare assistance, damage to private homes and possessions within the home.

Both agencies have representatives on the ground.

"We are here to help and we are going to be here for a long period of time," said Gipson.

Then there are those in Renee Stough's shoes.

"It was rough, for everyone," said Stough. "Not just me. Everybody suffered here."

She lost $1,000 because the Clearwater diner she works in was closed.  

Florida's Dept. of Economic Opportunity bases payouts on how much a person made, and offers up to $275 a week. 

A variety of helping hands are extended, in hopes of making up for the $16-billion that could be lost.

"It's extremely tough, to lose a week's worth of revenue," said Moskos. "And on top of that, you get back open and it's not just back to business as normal."

Anyone who needs help from the state with wages lost only has a month to apply.

Those who need help with belongings or other assistance are asked to immediately go to disaster assistance dot gov to start registering.

- To apply for FEMA benefits:  https://www.disasterassistance.gov/
- To apply for SBA benefits: https://www.sba.gov/
- To apply for state wage benefits: http://www.floridajobs.org/

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