Local businesses eligible for low-interest loans because of Chips Fire

Feather Publishing
Thanks in part to input from Plumas County business owners who were hurt by the recent Chips Fire, county businesses are eligible for low-interest loans from the federal government.
“We had a lot of responses from business owners in Plumas County,” said U. S. Small Business Administration information (SBA) officer Charmagne Husmann. “It’s because of their input that businesses in Plumas are eligible.”

The strong Plumas County response was a direct result of an awareness campaign by the Alliance for Workforce Development. AFWD representative Jan Prichard traveled around the county, while the fire was still burning, to meet with business owners. She said she emphasized the importance of making sure the governor’s office heard from local business owners.

The Small Business Administration reported last week that it is making low-interest working capital federal loans available to small businesses economically impacted by the fire that occurred July 29 through August 31.

SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills said Friday, Sept. 14, that the SBA declared a disaster following a request received on September 11, from Governor Edmund G. Brown’s designated representative, Mark Ghilarducci, Secretary of California Emergency Management Agency.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Plumas County and the neighboring California counties of Butte, Lassen, Shasta, Sierra, Tehama, and Yuba.

“The U. S. Small Business Administration is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist California’s small businesses with federal disaster loans,” Mills said. “We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of this disaster.”

“Small, non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said SBA’s Sacramento District Director Jim O’Neal.

“These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact,” O’Neal said. “Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.”

Eligibility is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage.  These loans have an interest rate of 4 percent for small businesses and 3 percent for private, nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years, and are restricted to small businesses without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Applicants may apply online using SBA’s secure Web site at

The California Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is offering free, personalized counseling to help affected business owners in their recovery.  

Business owners may contact the SBDC in Sacramento from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday, either by telephone at (916) 563-3210 or by visiting their office at the Ethan Way Center, 1410 Ethan Way, Sacramento, CA  95825.

For owners of these impacted small businesses, disaster loan information and applications are available from SBA by calling SBA at (800) 659‑2955, emailing, or visiting SBA’s Web site  Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.

The filing deadline to return economic injury applications is June 14, 2013.

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