Disaster assistance for small businesses

San Juan County is one of 35 Washington counties and eight neighboring Oregon counties, now eligible for small, nonfarm businesses to apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the combined effects of excessive rain, flooding, below normal temperatures, high winds, frosts and freezes occurring January 1 through July, 31, 2011,” said Alfred E. Judd, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center.

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.

Eligibility is based on the financial impact of the disaster and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 4 percent for businesses and 3 percent for private, nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or by calling 1-800-659‑2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.  Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call 1-800-877-8339.