As wind-fueled wildfires swept through numerous counties in Northern California, neighborhoods and communities were affected in a multitude of ways. With schools resuming and the recovery process in motion, businesses also are in need of assistance.
If business owners have any questions or require assistance with their business, please contact GO-Biz.
The California Business Portal provides businesses with resources for financial assistance, relocation services, international trade and investment guidance, tax incentive information, registration and permit requirements, information about California regulations and more of what businesses need to get up and running.
For additional contacts and resources, visit the California Business Portal.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
SBA offers federal low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters. Businesses of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair/replace disaster property damage. Small businesses, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations may also borrow to help meet disaster caused working capital needs. The $2 million maximum applies to the combination of property damage and working capital loans.
If you are a homeowner or renter, FEMA may refer you to SBA. SBA disaster loans are the primary source of money to pay for repair or replacement costs not fully covered by insurance or other compensation. Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property, including vehicles.
There are three ways to apply for SBA disaster loan assistance:
- Apply online using SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela
- Apply in person at any Disaster Recovery Center and receive personal, one-on-one help from an SBA representative. For additional information or to find a location near you, visit our website at www.sba.gov/disaster, call SBA at (800)659-2955 or email email@example.com. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800)877-8339.
- Apply by mail: Send completed paper application to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
If your loan application is approved, you may also be eligible for additional funds to cover the cost of improvements that will protect your property against future damage. Examples of improvements include the use of non-combustible and ignition-resistant materials on the outside of the home, creating defensible space around the home, etc. Mitigation loan money would be in addition to the amount of the approved loan, but may not exceed 20 percent of total amount of physical damage to real property, including leasehold improvements, and personal property as verified by SBA to a maximum of $200,000 for home loans. It is not necessary for the description of improvements and cost estimates to be submitted with the application. SBA approval of the mitigating measures will be required before any loan increase.
If you operate a business from a home office or have “tools of the trade” stored in your primary residence, you should not be required to file a separate business application if the business area is shared in your living space.
SBA may include the losses to your home business located in the living space of your primary residence under a home application. However, you may choose to file a separate application if the home loan limits ($200,000) would prevent you from obtaining sufficient loan funds for a full recovery.