Wildfire loans available for homeowners, businesses, more | SkyHiNews.com

Wildfire loans available for homeowners, businesses, more

Sky-Hi News staff report

The US Small Business Association will be offering disaster assistance to Colorado businesses and residents affected by wildfires.

The SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster following the denial of the state’s request for a major disaster on Jan. 19. The declaration makes assistance available in Grand and other wildfire-affected counties in Colorado.

Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to businesses of all size, most private nonprofits, homeowners and renters whose property was damaged or destroyed by the wildfires.

The SBA opened a Virtual Business Recovery Center on Thursday that will provide personalized assistance to business owners and 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 the program, explain the application process and help complete the loan application. Both centers are open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be reached at FOCWAssistance@sba.gov or 800-659-2955. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call 800-877-8339.

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 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 regardless of whether the business suffered 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% for businesses, 2.75% for private nonprofit organizations and 1.2% 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.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov. The deadline to apply for property damage is April 26. The deadline to apply for economic injury is Nov. 23.

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