Northwest Small Businesses Affected by Wildfires Face an Important Deadline

Small businesses in California, Oregon and Washington were recently reminded of the July 26 and 28 deadlines for applying for SBA federal disaster loans for economic damage caused by wildfires last year.

Northwest Small Businesses Affected by Wildfires Face an Important Deadline

Tanya N. Garfield, director of the US Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West, said select small businesses could apply for an economic injury disaster loan of up to $2 million to meet working capital needs due to the catastrophic fires. Eligible businesses include small non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses, and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes.

Approaches to the deadline for a low interest loan

The deadline means there is less than a month for such companies to submit their applications, which can be a huge help during these difficult times. Companies in California and Washington have an earlier deadline of July 26, 2022, while companies in Oregon have a deadline of July 28, 2022.

The interest is 2.88% for companies and 2% for private non-profit organizations with maturities up to 30 years. Final loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Help for companies to recover from forest fires

Director Garfield said of the loans: “Economic Injury Disaster Loans can be used to pay fixed debt, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid due to the impact of the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available whether or not the applicant has suffered material damage.”

Applicants for the loans can apply online at the Disaster Loans website, as well as receive additional information about disaster relief or download applications. Completed applications should be mailed to US Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

How wildfires destroyed local businesses

The wildfires that led to these loans becoming available took place between July and September last year. The White Center fire in King County, Washington, began on July 5, and the Seattle Times reported on the conditions business owners faced, saying, “The fires, plus ongoing windows and break-ins, have devastated White Center businesses and left a “state of emergency,” Helen Shor-Wong, program manager for the White Center Community Development Association, said at an Oct. 8 meeting between business owners and King County leaders.

The Seattle Times also described how business owners demanded more help from county and elected officials, saying, “Ana Castro, co-owner of White Center’s old Salvadorean Bakery and Restaurant, talked about paying $4,000 to clean her glass window. had it repaired after it was vandalized and her staff didn’t feel safe coming to work.

“But it’s not just the series of destructive events that frustrate entrepreneurs, it’s what they say is the lack of response from provincial and other elected officials to their plight. During the meeting, entrepreneurs presented a petition to the province asking them to do more to help.

The Hopkins fire in Mendocino County, California, raged between September 12 and 20. The longest-running fire was the Bootleg Fire in Klamath County, Oregon, which took about five weeks to get under control between July 6 and August 15.

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