Sonora, CA — Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available for a range of businesses in five counties economically impacted by this summer’s Ferguson Fire.
Officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) say the agency acted under its own authority to declare a disaster after receiving a request on Aug. 29 from Governor Jerry Brown’s Office of Emergency Services. The declaration makes SBA assistance available in Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties. SBA’s plans are to work swiftly to aid small businesses in recovering from financial impacts due to the fire.
“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,” explains Tanya N. Garfield, director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West.
She adds, “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 help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.”
The loans are restricted to small businesses without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship. Eligibility is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. The loans, which may be applied for through June 4, 2019, have an interest rate of 3.61 percent for small businesses and 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years.