- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. (AP) - The Small Business Administration is offering loan assistance to companies in southeast Kansas, northeast Oklahoma and southwest Missouri damaged by a tornado and violent weather on April 27.

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management says it was notified Wednesday that the state was granted an SBA disaster declaration for Cherokee County and adjacent counties. Dozens of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed in the Cherokee County town of Baxter Springs by an EF2 tornado that also hit Quapaw, Oklahoma.

Officials say the declaration also covers Crawford and Labette counties in Kansas, Jasper and Newton counties in Missouri, and Craig and Ottawa counties in Oklahoma.

SBA loans are the primary form of federal assistance to repair and rebuild non-farm private businesses of any size following disasters.

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