California Businesses and Residents Affected by Wildfires Urged to Register with FEMA and SBA for Federal Disaster Assistance

California businesses and residents who suffered damage or losses from the current and recent wildfires are strongly encouraged to register for disaster assistance.  As a result of President Trump’s major disaster declaration, both Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering disaster assistance covering Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo counties as a result of the wildfires that began on Aug. 14, 2020.

 

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

 

FEMA has programs that may provide some financial assistance for eligible survivors. The financial assistance you receive can help you get back on your feet and may include assistance for housing and other serious disaster-related needs such as childcare, medical and dental expenses.

 

First, if you have not already done so, contact your insurance company and file a claim for the disaster-caused damage you have suffered. You do not have to wait to start cleaning up, but be sure to take photographs or video of the damage and keep all receipts for repair work.

 

Applicants will be asked for the following information:

  • Address of the damaged primary dwelling
  • Current mailing address
  • Current telephone number
  • Social Security number
  • Insurance information
  • Total household annual income

·        Routing and account number for checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into a bank account)

  • A description of disaster-caused damage and losses

 

 

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, survivors must first contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.disasterassistance.gov, downloading the FEMA app on your smartphone or tablet, or by calling 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). 

 

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

In consideration of the public health concerns due to the Coronavirus pandemic, on Monday, Aug. 24, 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

Mondays – Fridays

9 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

FOCWAssistance@sba.gov

(916) 735-1500

 

These services are only available for the California disaster declaration as a result of the wildfires that began Aug. 14, 2020, and not for COVID-19 related assistance.

 

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 3 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.188 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.

 

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