The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is providing low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses in Washington economically affected by the severe storms, flooding, and freezing conditions that occurred between December 18-28, 2022. SBA’s Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced the disaster declaration following a request received from Governor Jay Inslee on April 11, 2023.
The assistance is available to small businesses in Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, Okanogan, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston, and Whatcom counties. Administrator Guzman stated that the SBA’s mission-driven team is ready to help the affected businesses, and they are committed to providing federal disaster loans quickly and efficiently.
Small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses, and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) of up to $2 million. These loans aim to help businesses meet their financial obligations and operating expenses, which they could have managed if the disaster hadn’t occurred. According to Director Tanya N. Garfield of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West, the loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid due to the disaster’s impact.
Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster rather than actual property damage. The loans have an interest rate of 3.305% for small businesses and 2.375% for private nonprofit organizations, with terms of up to 30 years. They are restricted to small businesses without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.
The Washington Small Business Development Center is offering free, personalized counseling to help affected businesses in their recovery. To access this assistance, businesses can email Washington@wsbdc.org or call (833) 492-7232.
To apply for economic injury assistance, businesses can visit https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ or call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955. Completed applications should be mailed to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. The deadline for application is January 12, 2024.
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