Local businesses without physical fire damage can still apply for SBA loans | PostIndependent.com

Local businesses without physical fire damage can still apply for SBA loans

The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association and the Small Business Development Center at Colorado Mountain College co-sponsored a free workshop June 28 to let locals know that even businesses that did not suffer physical damages during the Coal Seam Fire can still apply for low-interest disaster loans.

Area businesses that experienced revenue losses may be eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

According to an SBA disaster loan fact sheet distributed at the local meeting, the economic injury loans are available at 3.5 percent for up to 30 years. The loans usually are processed within three weeks, and first payment on the loans can be deferred for five months.

The deadline to apply for an economic injury disaster loan is March 19, 2003.

The first step to investigate an SBA loan is to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster assistance service by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

FEMA officials will then direct businesses owners as well as homeowners and renters to the proper federal or relief agencies ranging from the SBA to the American Red Cross to the Internal Revenue Service.

Disaster unemployment insurance is another benefit available through FEMA.

The deadline for filing applications for low-interest loan assistance for physical damage to homes, personal property or businesses caused by Colorado wildfires this fire season is Aug. 18, 2002.

For local information on business recovery assistance, contact Joe Livingston at the Small Business Development Center at Colorado Mountain College at 928-0120 or Marianne Virgili, executive director of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, at 945-6589.

Disaster Recovery Center open through Saturday

To serve the needs of people and businesses affected by the Coal Seam Fire, the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster recovery center in Glenwood Springs will remain open Thursday, July 4. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The center is located at 1317 Grand Ave. in Glenwood Springs.

Recovery teams at the center are available to answer questions and provide recovery information about various assistance programs to affected persons and business owners.

Disaster programs include temporary housing assistance, individual and family grants, low-interest disaster loans and disaster temporary unemployment insurance.

This is also an opportunity for homeowners to receive information about wildfire mitigation and safety tips.

Individuals affected by the fire are urged to start the application process before visiting the centers by calling FEMA’s toll-free number at 1-800-621-3362.

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