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For SBA disaster help center, business as usual

While many segments of the federal government are shut down, including parts of the Small Business Administration, the SBA's Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center on South Elmwood Avenue in downtown Buffalo continues to operate.

About 60 people are currently working at the center, said Colleen Hiam, the director. The center helps victims of disasters apply for SBA disaster loans; its activity tends to spike in the wake of disasters like hurricanes, floods and tornadoes.

So while many federal workers are waiting for word on when they can return from furlough, employees at the Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center are tracking whether Tropical Storm Karen turns into a hurricane and causes damage in the southern United States.

-- Matt Glynn

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