Small businesses across Iowa are starting to feel the pinch from employees being called to active duty in the National Guard or Army Reserves. Dave Lentell, spokesman for the U-S Small Business Administration office in Des Moines, says government loans are being offered for merchants who have lost staffers to the military buildup.It’s called the Military Reservist Economic Injury Loan program and Lentell says it’s been around since the latter half of 2001 and helps businesses deal with the call ups.About 98-percent of all Iowa businesses are considered small businesses — that’s 210-thousand businesses. Lentell says when one person is activated for federal military service out of a staff of three, for example, that business can suffer. He says the call up can be very disruptive for a business that’s not prepared. He says their website can help small businesses prepare. The website is “www.sba.gov/reservists” or call the nearest S-B-A office in Des Moines or Cedar Rapids. An Iowa National Guard spokesman says 865 Iowans are now on active duty, 360 Guard members are on alert and 355 are on stand-by for alert. Colonel Robert King says about one-thousand more Iowans are on active duty now in the Army Reserves.
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