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JEFFERSON CITY- Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick announced Thursday the creation of a new program to help small businesses and farmers after disasters hit.

The Linked Deposits to Invest and Fund a Timely Recovery program, or "LIFT," will assist small business owners and farmers by providing expedited low-interest loans for people in FEMA-declared damaged areas. 

The program is designed specifically to help those that suffered damage from the May 22 tornadoes that hit the Jefferson City area, but also is available for those suffering damaged from the long-term flooding the area has been experiencing.

Among other things, the program authorizes a linked deposit loan of up to $2 million for borrowers impacted by natural disasters. This amount is double the amount provided by the similar Missouri FIRST program.

Fitzpatrick said he knows how important financial help is in the wake of natural disasters.  

"We worked hard to create a program that can help Missouri farmers and small business owners pick up the pieces and get back to work.  Small businesses and farms are a vital part of the Missouri economy and I am proud to be part of the recovery effort.”

LIFT will go into effect beginning Thursday, and will accept applications for small business and farms in the following FEMA-declared counties, according to a press release: Andrew, Atchison, Boone, Buchanan, Carroll, Chariton, Cole, Greene, Holt, Jackson, Jasper, Lafayette, Lincoln, Livingston, Miller, Mississippi, New Madrid, Osage, Pemiscot, Perry, Pike, Platte, Pulaski, Ray, St. Charles, and St. Genevieve.