SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Colorado Residents and BusinessesAffected by the Black Forest Fire

 Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to Colorado residents and business owners affected by the Black Forest Fire that occurred June 11 - June 21, 2013, U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen G. Mills announced today.  SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster following the denial of the state's request for FEMA's Individuals and Households Program.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in El Paso County and the neighboring counties of Crowley, Douglas, Elbert, Fremont, Lincoln, Pueblo and Teller.

"The U. S. Small Business Administration is strongly committed to providing Colorado with the most effective and customer-focused response possible, and we will be there to provide access to federal disaster loans to help finance recovery for residents and businesses affected by the disaster," said Mills.  "Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA."

"Beginning Wednesday, August 14 at 1 pm, SBA customer service representatives (CSRs) and counselors from the Colorado Springs Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will be on hand at the following SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center to help individuals and businesses impacted by the Black Forest Fire," said SBA's Colorado District Director Greg Lopez.  "The center is designed to provide key financial and counseling services to individuals and businesses impacted by the fire," he continued.  The center will be open on the days and times indicated.  No appointment is necessary.

El Paso County
SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center
Black Forest Fire Station One
Training Room
11445 Teachout Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80908

Opens: Wednesday, August 14, at 1 pm
Hours : Mondays - Fridays 9 am - 6 pm

The center will close on Thursday, August 29

According to Lopez, SBA CSRs will answer questions about SBA's disaster loan programs, explain the application process, help each individual complete their application and close their approved loans.  Colorado SBDC State Director Kelly Manning said, "Our SBDC counselors will provide free counseling on a wide variety of matters designed to help business owners re-establish their operations, overcome the effects of the disaster and plan for their future.  Services include assessing business economic injury, evaluating the business's strength, cash flow projections and most importantly, a review of all options to ensure each business makes decisions that are appropriate for its situation.  They will also provide program information, answer questions and help businesses apply for this much needed financial help."

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate.  Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Businesses of any size and private, nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.  SBA can also lend additional funds to homeowners and businesses to help with the cost of making improvements that protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.  EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

Interest rates can be as low as 1.875 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.875 percent for private, nonprofit organizations and 4 percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years.  Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition.

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

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA's Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, e-mailing or visiting SBA's Web site at  Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.

The filing deadline to return applications for property damage is October 14, 2013.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is May 14, 2014.

SBA Field Operations Center - West, P.O.  Box 419004, Sacramento, CA 95841