Small businesses affected by Glenwood Canyon mudslides encouraged to apply for federal relief loans
Small businesses affected by the Glenwood Canyon mudslides may qualify for federal funding, the state announced Friday.
If the Small Business Administration determines that an eligible business cannot obtain credit elsewhere, a small business may qualify for federal loans.
“A business may qualify for both an (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) and a physical disaster loan,” a release from Gov. Jared Polis’ office states. “The maximum combined loan amount is $2 million.”
Polis said in a Friday news release that his administration took action immediately to help Coloradans impacted by the Glenwood Canyon closures and additional funding will provide continued support to the small businesses affected by this devastating disaster.
“I thank our federal partners for fulfilling our request to help us build our roads back better and for their work to provide important relief to our small businesses,” Polis said in the release.
Polis’ administration joined the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to secure the federal funds from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the release states.
In late July, an abrupt storm cell accumulated over Glenwood Canyon. Described as a 500-year event by the National Weather Service, the cell released up to 2 inches of rain within an hour.
The heavy, sudden rains struck the Grizzly Creek burn scar, causing a massive debris flow. The surge of loose mud, rock and sediment enveloped parts of Interstate 70, causing significant infrastructural damage.
“Gov. Polis issued disaster declarations for the Glenwood Canyon mudslides and requested federal emergency aid to rebuild the infrastructure on I-70, receiving funds one day after the initial administration request,” the release states. “Thanks to the hard work of the Colorado Department of Transportation, the state was able to reopen Glenwood Canyon ahead of schedule.”
After the mudslides, Polis requested $116 million in aid through the Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief program.
I-70 eventually reopened Aug. 14 to single lane traffic near the Grizzly Creek exit.
Small businesses in Garfield, Pitkin, Eagle, Mesa, Rio Blanco and Routt counties are eligible to receive financial assistance.
“Eligibility is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 2.855% for small businesses and 2 percent for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years,” the release states. “The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid due to the disaster.”
The Grand Junction Small Business Development Center is offering free, personalized counseling to help affected businesses in their recovery. Businesses may contact the center by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, by calling 970-243-5242, or by visiting the SBDC office at 2591 Legacy Way, Grand Junction 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, the release states. Visitors are encouraged to call first for an appointment. Businesses may also contact the Northwest Small Business Development Center at email@example.com.
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications on the SBA website, the release states. For additional information, contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline to apply for these funds is June 16, 2022.
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