published on September 7, 2018 - 4:12 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

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.

The announcement was made yesterday by SBA Administrator Linda McMahon. SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster following a request received by Gov. Jerry Brown’s designated representative, Mark S. Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, on Aug. 29

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,” McMahon said. “We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of this disaster.”

According to Tanya Garfield, director of the SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West, small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private nonprofit groups of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million.

“These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts, payable and other bill that can’t be paid because of the disaster impact,” Garfield said. “Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.”

The loans have an interest rate of 3.61 percent for small businesses and 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations with terms of up to 30 years and are restricted to small businesses without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Eligibility is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on property damage. The deadline to apply is June 4, 2019.

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