The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest working capital federal disaster loans to small businesses economically impacted by the Royal Gorge Fire that that occurred June 11 - June 16, 2013, SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills said today. SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster following a request received on July 31 from Lt. Gov. Joseph A. Garcia.
The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Fremont County and the neighboring counties of Chaffee, Custer, El Paso, Park, Pueblo, Saguache and Teller.
“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 Thursday, August 8, SBA customer service representatives (CSRs) and counselors from the Pueblo Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will be on hand at the following SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center to help small businesses impacted by the Royal Gorge Fire,” said SBA’s Colorado District Director Greg Lopez. “The center is designed to provide key financial and counseling services to small businesses impacted by the fire,” he continued. The center will be open on the days and times indicated. No appointment is necessary.
SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center
Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments (UAACG)
Opens: Thursday, August 8 at 8 am
Closes: Tuesday, August 13 at 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 small 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,” said 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, and are restricted to small businesses without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.
Applicants may apply online using SBA’s secure Web site athttps://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
For owners of these impacted small businesses, disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. For more information about SBA’s disaster assistance programs, visit http://www.sba.gov/disaster.
The deadline to return SBA economic injury applications is May 6, 2014.