SBA Stands Ready to Assist California Businesses and Residents Affected by the Wildfires

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to California businesses and residents as a result of President Trump’s major disaster declaration, U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon announced.

The declaration covers Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties as a result of the wildfires that began Nov. 8, 2018.

“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 California businesses and residents affected by this disaster,” said McMahon. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

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 3.74 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 2 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.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, survivors must first contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.disasterassistance.gov.  As soon as Federal-State Disaster Recovery Centers and SBA Business Recovery Centers open throughout the affected area, SBA will provide one-on-one assistance to disaster loan applicants. Additional information and details on the location of disaster recovery centers is available by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955.

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Monica Vargas

Monica is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). She has been involved in the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, Valley Fire, Butte Fire, historic drought, Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident and 2017 winter storms. She previously served Cal OES as an analyst in international affairs, technology operations and executive staff support.

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