SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to California Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Moraga Sinkhole

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal loans for working capital to small businesses economically impacted by the Moraga sinkhole that began March 13, 2016, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced today. SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster following a request received on July 8, from Gov. Edmond Brown Jr.’s designated representative, Mark S. Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Alameda, Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Solano 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. We will be swift in our efforts to help small businesses recover from the financial impacts of this disaster,” said Administrator Contreras-Sweet.

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 4 percent for small businesses and 2.625 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.

“Small, nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said SBA’s San Francisco District Director Mark Quinn.

Applicants may apply online using SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

The Contra Costa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is offering free, personalized counseling to help affected businesses in their recovery. Businesses may contact the SBDC by telephone at (925) 602-6806 between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays or by visiting their office at 300 Ellinwood Way, Suite 300, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523.

“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,” Quinn added.

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. For more disaster assistance information or to download applications, visit https://www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

The filing deadline to return economic injury applications is April 13, 2017.

Jonathan Gudel

Jonathan Gudel is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Since joining Cal OES, he has assisted in the response and recovery efforts of the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, the state's historic drought, the Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, unprecedented winter storms in 2017, the October (Sonoma County) and December (Santa Barbara County) 2017 wildfires, and statewide wildfire siege in 2018 . Previously, he worked in the newspaper industry for 12 years.

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