SBA Updates

SBA & SBDC Stand Ready to Assist California Businesses Affected by Wildfires

Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to California businesses and residents as a result of President Biden’s major disaster declaration, U.S. Small Business Administration’s Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced.

The declaration covers Lassen, Nevada, Placer and Plumas counties as a result of wildfires that began July 14, 2021 and includes the contiguous Counties of Sierra, Modoc, El Dorado, Yuba, Shasta, Sacramento, Sutter, Tehama, and Butte. Sierra SBDC advisors are readily available to provide technical assistance to businesses impacted by fires in our region.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing California with the most effective and customer-focused response possible and with access to federal disaster loans to help businesses and residents affected by this disaster,” said Guzman. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

In consideration of the public health concerns due to the Coronavirus pandemic, beginning Thursday, Aug. 26, SBA will establish a Virtual Business Recovery Center to provide personalized assistance to business owners. In addition, SBA will also open a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center to help homeowners and renters. Customer Service Representatives will be available to business owners and individuals to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each person complete their electronic loan application.

Virtual Business Recovery Center and
Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center
Monday – Friday (5 days/week)
8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Eastern Time
FOCWAssistance@sba.gov
(800) 659-2955

Businesses of all sizes 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 businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to 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 to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available to businesses regardless of any property damage.

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.

Interest rates can be as low as 2.855 percent for businesses, 2 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.563 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

El Dorado County businesses are also eligible for Economic Injury Loans relative to the Tamarack Fire impacts: “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,” Garfield 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 2.88 percent for small businesses and 2 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.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, survivors must first contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.disasterassistance.gov. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

Sierra SBDC advisors are ready to provide technical assistance to business owners affected by the wildfires in our region. Please call, email, or sign up for business advising to get started with our expert consultants.

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.