Two months before the start of the summer boating season, the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed and threw a local charter boat business, Boat Baltimore, into an uncertain future.

Owner Bobby LaPin was among the nearly 3,000 small-business owners and nonprofits that applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The SBA said it has approved more than 500 applications, totaling $23.8 million, and has disbursed about $5 million.

On March 30, four days after the disaster, the SBA began offering 30-year loans of up to $2 million with no accrued interest and no payments for one year. After the first year, the interest rates for the loans are 4% for small businesses and 3.25% for private nonprofit organizations.

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The loans are designed to help businesses continue operations by covering payroll, fixed debts and other expenses. They’re available for those in Maryland, but applications from D.C. and select counties in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia are also accepted.

SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman and Deputy Administrator Dilawar Syed have previously said that restaurants, logistics companies, and truckers were their top loan applicants.

“I’m just so happy that when I was really scared and when I didn’t have a crystal ball to see the future, there was a safety net,” LaPin said. “Something that said, ‘Don’t worry, we’re here with you.’ ”

LaPin said he found the application fairly straightforward and workers at the SBA’s Business Recovery Centers helpful.

“For about two hours they walked us through the entire process — what kinds of statements I needed and more — they were just amazing,” LaPin said.

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Within days of the collapse, the SBA had opened three centers, with two in Baltimore and one in Anne Arundel County, offering assistance with the applications and other local resources like the Department of Labor and Anne Arundel’s Workforce Development Corporation.

The SBA closed all of the centers at the end of last month, saying they weren’t seeing much traffic. The main channel to the Port of Baltimore opened late Monday, and smaller channels have been open for weeks, easing some of the economic impact for some companies.

Loan applications can be submitted online until Dec. 31.