The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses economically impacted by the Ferguson Fire that occurred July 13 – Aug. 19, 2018, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon announced on September 5, 2018. SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster following a request received from Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr.’s designated representative, Mark S. Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, on Aug. 29, 2018.
The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties.
“SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist California’s small businesses with federal disaster loans. We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of this disaster,” said Administrator McMahon.
“Small, nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said Director Tanya N. Garfield of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West.
“These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing,” Garfield added.
Eligibility is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 3.61 percent for small businesses and 2.5 percentfor private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years and are restricted to small businesses without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.
The Modesto Small Business Development Center is offering free, personalized counseling to help affected businesses in their recovery. Businesses may contact Jennifer Butler at the Valley Sierra SBDC, 1735 M St. Suite 111, Modesto, CA 95340 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (209) 386-1008 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to call first for an appointment.
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email email@example.com for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The deadline to apply for economic injury is June 4, 2019.