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Deadline Extended for Small Business Owners in L.A. County Affected by Civil Unrest to Apply for Disaster Assistance Loans

Courtesy photo by Andrew “Donovan” Valdivia on Unsplash

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has extended the deadline to apply for a disaster recovery loan to Sept. 16, 2020 for Los Angeles County business owners who suffered physical or property damage due to the civil unrest incidents that began on May 26, 2020. 

“This is an excellent opportunity for small business owners in Los Angeles County to benefit from low-interest bearing federal loans that can help them on their recovery journey if they experienced losses because of the civil unrest that impacted our County,” stated Kevin McGowan, director of the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management. “During these challenging times, every bit of help counts. We encourage small business owners to take advantage of this resource while it’s still available.”

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.

There are two newly updated important deadlines to apply for assistance from SBA. Business owners must file an application by Sept. 16, 2020 for property damage applications and by March 17, 2021 for economic injury applications. 

There are several ways to apply:

If you need help 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 instead 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.

The SBA is also offering assistance through their Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center at FOCWAssistance@sba.gov. SBA disaster loans are only available for damages and losses due to the civil unrest that began May 26, 2020, and not for COVID-19 related losses.

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 percent for businesses, and 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations 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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