Karen Mills, administrator of the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA), has announced that SBA is making low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans available to small businesses economically impacted by the West Fork Fire Complex that began June 5.
SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster in response to a request SBA received from Gov. John W. Hickenlooper on July 10.
The declaration makes SBA assistance available in the primary Colorado counties of Hinsdale, Mineral and Rio Grande and the neighboring counties of Alamosa, Archuleta, Conejos, Gunnison, La Plata, Ouray, Saguache and San Juan.
“The U. S. Small Business Administration is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist Colorado’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 Mills.
“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 (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said SBA Colorado District Director Greg Lopez.
“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,” Lopez 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 4 percent for small businesses and 2.875 percent for private, nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years. EIDLs are restricted to small businesses without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.
Applicants can apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
For owners of these impacted small businesses, SBA disaster loan information and applications are available by calling (800) 659-2955, e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can call (800) 877-8339.
The deadline to return economic injury applications is April 15, 2014.