The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West emphasizes the urgency for businesses to apply for federal disaster loans before the looming deadline on Oct. 16, 2023. This is related to the winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides from December 2022 to January 2023.
Jeffrey Lusk, Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West, reiterates the imminent deadline and underscores its significance. “Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the applicant suffered any property damage,” Lusk elaborated.
The door is open for a range of businesses to benefit from these Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Eligible businesses include small nonfarm ventures, agricultural cooperatives, those involved in aquaculture, and even most private nonprofit organizations, regardless of their size. Those approved could receive loans of up to $2 million, a lifeline aimed at helping them navigate the choppy waters of their working capital needs in the aftermath of the disaster.
The available low-interest federal disaster loans span a wide range of California counties. From Alameda to Yolo, small business owners in 38 counties can avail of this essential financial support. However, an exception is made for Santa Clara County, which has its economic injury application deadline extended to Feb. 26, 2024.
It’s noteworthy for applicants to understand the terms associated with these loans. The interest rates are set at 3.305 percent for businesses and a slightly lower 2.375 percent for private nonprofit organizations. Loan terms can stretch up to 30 years, but the specifics of each loan, such as the amount and terms, are determined by the SBA based on the individual financial condition of each applicant. Furthermore, the interest does not begin accruing until a year after the initial loan disbursement, with repayments commencing 12 months post the first payout.
The application process has been made seamless for those looking to benefit from these loans. Potential applicants can head online to the SBA’s dedicated disaster loan assistance website to gather more information, download applications, or even complete the application process. Those preferring a more direct line of communication can reach out to the SBA’s Customer Service Center. Additionally, provisions have been made to accommodate individuals with hearing or speech disabilities.
For those opting for a traditional application process, completed forms can be mailed directly to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s processing center in Fort Worth, Texas.
The clock is ticking if you’re a small business owner in California grappling with the economic aftermath of last winter’s natural disasters. Ensure that you seize this invaluable opportunity to help your business recover and thrive in challenging times.
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