For wildfire survivors, an SBA disaster loan can be critical to recovery



Ferguson fire in Mariposa County in 2018
Photo credit: Blake Scott, National Park Service

October 2, 2020 – SACRAMENTO – The amount some wildfire survivors receive from insurance, grants and other sources may be insufficient to repair or rebuild their business or home to its pre-disaster state. A disaster loan can fill this critical gap.

The United States Small Business Administration provides eligible wildfire survivors with affordable financial assistance in the form of long-term, low-interest loans. As of September 30, the SBA had made 124 wildfire loans worth more than $ 15: 12 to businesses and 134 to individual survivors of the August wildfire siege in California.

Businesses of all sizes and private non-profit organizations can borrow up to $ 2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other commercial assets. The SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help cover the cost of improvements to protect, prevent, or minimize the same type of damage from a disaster in the future.

For small businesses, small farmer cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private non-profit organizations of any size, SBA offers economic disaster loans to help meet the fund’s needs of turnover caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Assistance is available to businesses regardless of any material damage.

Disaster loans of up to $ 200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and tenants are entitled to up to $ 40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Business owners and residents of the following counties can apply: Butte, Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo. Small businesses in contiguous counties can apply for economic disaster loans.

Before FEMA can consider granting a survivor grants for the repair or replacement of personal property and vehicles or for moving and storage costs, the applicant must apply for a loan from the SBA and be refused. FEMA does not need to apply for an SBA loan to determine applicants’ eligibility for disaster-related funeral, medical, or dental expenses; child care; or public transport and other serious disaster-related needs. No one is required to take a loan.

Survivors can learn more by contacting the SBA’s Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center. Customer Service Representatives are available to assist individuals and business owners, answer questions about the SBA Disaster Loan Program, explain the application process, and help each person complete their electronic loan application. .

Virtual Disaster Recovery Center and Virtual Disaster Lending Awareness Center

Monday – Sunday

5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT

[email protected]


The deadline to submit a claim for property damage is October 21, 2020. The deadline to submit a claim for economic damage is May 24, 2021.
Source: Cal OES



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