Governor Mike Easley has asked the U.S. Small Business Administration to help Spruce Pine businesses recover from a fire that burned several downtown buildings.
Easley says he asked the Small Business Administration for a disaster declaration to make low-interest loans available to business owners. The money could be used for repairs and other costs related to recovery.
The governor says the fire destroyed much of the town's central business district. He says it will be hard for the town to recover without federal help.
Easley says more than 50 businesses were significantly impacted or destroyed by back-to-back fires in the Mitchell County town on August 4th and 5th. Forty-four-year-old David Kenneth McCall of Spruce Pine has been charged with arson.