Small local businesses may seek disaster relief funds

The Bellingham Business Journal

Non-farm businesses that suffered economic losses due to the freezing conditions and record low temperatures Oct.10-13, 2009, now have access to financial relief through low interest loans.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million for small agricultural cooperatives, private nonprofit organizations of any size, and non-farm businesses to help meet working capital needs, such as financial obligations and operating expenses, which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

Loans are administered by the SBA to cover “both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” said Alfred E. Judd, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center – West.

“Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage,” Judd said.

The loans have an interest rate of 4 percent, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship, Judd said.

Western Washington University’s Center for Economic Vitality and its Small Business Development Center can assist applicants with designing an application and recovery plan. The deadline to apply for these loans is Feb. 15, 2011.

For more information, contact the Center for Economic Vitality at (360) 733-4014, the Small Business Development Center at (360) 778-1762 or visit

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