WHER Chat: SBA Disaster Assistance for California Small Businesses Economically Impacted by Severe Storms & Flooding


Burgandy Basulto is a Content Writer at NAWRB. She has a bachelor’s degree in both English and Philosophy, and a master’s degree in Philosophy. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves running, kickboxing, watching films, trying new restaurants she finds via Yelp, and experiencing other cultures during her travels.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza announced the SBA is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses in California regions that have been economically impacted by the severe storms and flooding that occurred in San Bernardino County Nov. 27- Dec. 1, 2019. The disaster declaration was made on Feb. 12, 2020, following a request from Governor Gavin Newsom’s representative Mark S. Ghilarducci. 

Disaster assistance is available for the following counties: Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino in California; La Paz and Mojave in Arizona; and Clark County in Nevada. “SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist California small businesses with federal disaster loans. We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of this disaster,” stated SBA Administrator Carranza in an official press release.

“Small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said Director Tanya N. Garfield of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

Disaster assistance loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of economic injury caused by the recent natural disaster. According to the SBA. eligibility is based on financial impact of the disaster only, and not actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 3.875 for small businesses and 2.75 for private nonprofit organizations for up to thirty years. 

To apply or receive additional disaster assistance information, applications are available at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Deadline to apply is Nov. 13, 2020. 

NAWRB is proud to be one of only 11 of the SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business Resource Partners, and we hope small businesses in need take advantage of this economic opportunity to recover from the severe storms and flooding that affected California last year.

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