SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Colorado Small Businesses Impacted by West Fork Complex Fire

SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Colorado Small Businesses Impacted by West Fork Complex Fire

Karen Mills, Administrator of the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA), today 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, 2013. 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, 2013.

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.

“Beginning Tuesday, July 23, SBA customer service representatives (CSRs) and counselors from the San Luis Valley and Western Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) will be on hand at the following Disaster Loan Outreach Centers to help small businesses impacted by the West Fork Fire Complex,” said SBA’s Colorado District Director Greg Lopez. “The centers are designed to provide key financial and counseling services to businesses impacted by the fires,” he continued. The centers will be open on the days and times indicated. No appointment is necessary.

Disaster Loan Outreach Centers

Disaster Loan Outreach Center
Carnegie Library, South Fork Branch
31 Mall Street
South Fork, CO 81154
Tues., July 23 thru Fri. July 26
10:00 am to 4:30 pm

Disaster Loan Outreach Center
Creede and Mineral County Chamber of Commerce
904 S. Main Street
Creede, CO 81130
Mon., July 29 thru Thurs. Aug. 1
8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Disaster Loan Outreach Center
Lake City DIRT
231 N. Silver Street #5
(Upstairs from the bank)
Lake City, CO 81235
Mon., Aug. 5 & Tues., Aug 6
8:00 am to 4:30 pm

According to Lopez, SBA CSRs will answer questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, explain the application process, and help each business owner complete their application. Colorado SBDC State Director Kelly Manning said, “Our SBDC counselors will provide free counseling on a wide variety of matters designed to help these businesses overcome the effects of the disasterand plan for their future. Services include assessing business economic injury, evaluating the business’s strength, cash flow projections and most importantly, reviewing all options to ensure each business makes decisions that are appropriate for its situation. They will also help businesses apply for this much needed financial help.”

“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,” Lopez continued.

“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 may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site at

For owners of these impacted small businesses, SBA disaster loan information and applications are available by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing, or visiting SBA’s Web site at Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.

The deadline to return economic injury applications is April 15, 2014.

Information provided by SBA.