Bobcat SBA loans

Last month’s Bobcat Fire burned 90% of Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area. The nature center and significant plant life and fauna across its 1,350 acres have been lost. Recovery loans are available from the US Small Business Administration to help residents and businesses.

Disaster recovery loans from the US Small Business Administration are now available to Los Angeles County residents and businesses who suffered damage as a result of the Bobcat wildfire, which began on Sept. 6.

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA low interest loans can also help businesses with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

If you need assistance with your application, visit the Los Angeles County Disaster Help Center at lacountyhelpcenter.org. Interested applicants who do not have access to the Internet, have limited computer proficiency or speak languages other than English may contact LA County’s Disaster Help Center at 833-238-4450. Multilingual business counselors are standing by to assist business owners in completing applications Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

There are several ways to apply:

• Complete an application online at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov

• Call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for details on SBA disaster assistance.

• Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call 800-877-8339

• The SBA is also offering assistance through their Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center at FOCWAssistance@sba.gov or by phone at 800-659-2955.

Economic injury disaster loans help meet working capital needs such as purchasing inventory, supplies and covering day-to-day expenses like rent and payroll. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the business has suffered any property damage or not.

Interest rates can be as low as 3% for businesses, and 2.75% for private nonprofit organizations and 1.188% for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

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