Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, read reports last week that the cancellation of the NHL All-Star Game will cost Columbus and central Ohio an estimated $12 million in revenue and $50 million in media exposure.

Brown is looking for ways to help business in and around the Arena District that have been hurt by the lockout, now in its third month. The Dispatch obtained a letter sent from Brown’s office to Karen Mills of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“This is not a natural disaster in the sense that everything is wiped out,” Brown said. “But it’s been an unexpected blow to small businesses. Maybe they need a bridge loan to help them get through this. But we’ll do whatever we can to help the business and the SBA to get together on something that can help.

“I suspect we’ll hear back from the SBA fairly soon. We need to get going on this.”

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