Photo: The East Troublesome Fire swept across central and northern Grand County in October 2020. Damages are still being assessed and are ongoing. Photo by Michael Turner
On January 21, 2021, Congressman Joe Neguse announced the availability of Small Business Administration (SBA) support for businesses in Grand and Larimer Counties who were impacted by the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome wildfires. Low-interest federal disaster loans will be available for certain private nonprofit organizations in Colorado following the federal disaster declaration for Public Assistance as a result of wildfires that occurred September 6 through November 5, 2020. Private nonprofits that provide essential services of a governmental nature are eligible for assistance. The SBA will lend private nonprofits up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.
“The Cameron Peak and East Troublesome Fires both brought significant damage to homes and businesses throughout Larimer County and Grand County,” said Congressman Neguse. “I was honored to help secure a federal disaster declaration for Colorado last week to help our communities recover and build back in the wake of a devastating wildfire season. The Small Business Administration support, announced today, will bring in needed resources for businesses that have been damaged. Our office stands ready to assist local business owners as they navigate the process for applying and receiving these funds.”
Private nonprofit organizations should visit colorado.gov/mars to obtain information about applicant briefings. At the briefings, private nonprofit representatives will need to provide information about their organization. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will use that information to determine if the private nonprofit provides an “essential governmental service” and is a “critical facility” as defined by law. If so, FEMA may provide the private nonprofit with a Public Assistance grant for their eligible costs. If not, FEMA may refer the private nonprofit to SBA for disaster loan assistance.
For certain private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to help with meeting working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the nonprofit suffered any property damage.
The deadline to apply for property damage is March 16, 2021. The deadline to apply for economic injury is Oct. 15, 2021.
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.