Disaster loans offered to local small businesses

by Trim Nick on November 21, 2012

Small business in the Y-K Delta impacted by the 2012 Alaska Chinook Salmon Fishery disaster are now eligible for federal disaster loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration. This program follows a disaster declaration made by the S-B-A on Friday.

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The S-B-A acted under its own authority to declare a disaster following a request from Governor Sean Parnell last Friday. This declaration allowed the U.S. Small Business Administration or S-B-A, to open up this loan program to small businesses affected by the slow-runs of King salmon this past summer.

The disaster declaration makes these low-interest loans available in the Lower Kuskokwim and Lower Yukon R-E-A-A or Rural Education Attendance Areas and the Kenai and Matanuska-Susitna Boroughs.

U.S. Small Business Administration Alaska District Director Karen Forsland says small businesses and and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million dollars. These loans are to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.
 
These small business loans have an interest rate of 4 percent for small businesses and 3 percent for private, nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years.

Forsland says that disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing as a result of the fisheries disaster. Forsland added that 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. 

Eligible small businesses owners, which may include commercial fishermen, must have been engaged in salmon fisheries-related activities in waters affected by fisheries closures in the summer of 2012. These include small businesses dependent on the catch or sale of salmon, including suppliers of fishing gear and fuel, docks, boatyards, processors, wholesalers, shippers, and retailers; or other small businesses dependent on revenue generated by the Chinook salmon fishery.

The Alaska Small Business Development Center is offering free, personalized counseling to help affected business owners in the recovery of lost fisheries-related revenues. For more information, you can contact the Alaska Small Business Development Center Office in Bethel at 543-0255.

You can also access the S-B-A Disaster loan online at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov . They could also be reached toll-free at 1-800-659-2955. The Bethel number again is 543-0255.

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