SBA opening disaster and business recovery centers

The U.S. Small Business Administration is opening a number of disaster recovery centers to provide counseling and low-interest loan programs to businesses hurt by flooding.

Disaster recovery centers are already open in Longmont, Loveland and Greeley, according to Matt Varilek, regional administrator with the SBA overseeing Colorado.

The SBA is working to set up more centers, Varilek said, but how many will be needed is not yet known.

The SBA next week will be opening a number of business recovery centers in some of the same locations as the disaster recovery centers.

Business recovery centers will be located in Estes Park, Greeley, Longmont and Loveland.

It’s too soon to tell just how many businesses will apply for these services, or how much money they will need, but a clearer picture will emerge as recovery efforts continue.

“Right now we’re transitioning from rescue to recovery,” Varilek said. “The SBA is more involved with recovery, so as recovery continues, volume will increase.”

Business loans can be obtained for as low as 4 percent, for up to $2 million for the repair or replacement of real estate, inventory, machinery and equipment. Nonprofit organizations can get loans for as low as 2.8 percent.

The SBA also offers economic-injury disaster loans for those who did not suffer physical damage but who lost money because of the floods.

At first, more loans will be needed for replacing real estate and property, Varilek said, but as time goes on, businesses will be able to assess whether or not they lost money as a result of the disaster and can decide whether or not to apply for economic injury loans.

The deadline to apply for a real estate or property loan is Nov. 14, but the deadline for economic injury loans is June 16, 2014, Varilek said.

The SBA also helps assess damage after a disaster, Varilek said, but many damaged areas are still hard to access, making damage estimates hard to obtain.

To find a disaster recovery center, and to hear hours of operation for each center, call the SBA hotline at (800) 659-2955.


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