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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, January 30, 2015
Sandy Johnson, Emergency Manager at (360) 867-2800 or JohnsonS@co.thurston.wa.us

Federal Assistance Available for Early January Storm Damage
Thurston County residents, businesses may qualify for U.S. Small Business Administration loans

On Monday, February 2, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will begin accepting applications for low-interest federal disaster loans from Thurston County residents and business owners who were affected by the severe storms that roared through the region between January 3 and 6. The SBA announced a disaster declaration in a news release Thursday for Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Lewis, Mason, Pacific and Thurston counties.

"Low-interest federal disaster loans can help our county's businesses, nonprofits, farmers, homeowners and renters whose property was damaged or destroyed by the early-January storms," said Thurston County Emergency Manager Sandy Johnson.

"It's important to note that the applications will be handled by the U.S. Small Business Administration—not the Thurston County Emergency Management Division," said Johnson. "Those who are interested in learning more or applying for a loan should contact the SBA directly."

The SBA will open a Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Aberdeen on Monday, where staff can answer questions about SBA's disaster loan program, explain the application process, and help people complete their applications. The center will be open during regular business hours Monday through Friday, and no appointment is necessary.

According to the SBA's January 29 news release, Thurston County residents affected by the January storms can apply for the following loan assistance:

  • Businesses of any size 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 can also lend additional funds to homeowners and businesses to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

  • For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

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

  • Interest rates can be as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations, and 1.938 percent 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.

  • The filing deadline to return applications for property damage is March 30. The deadline to return economic injury applications is October 29.

You can apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA's Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.

For more information about SBA's disaster assistance programs, visit http://www.sba.gov/disaster.

Stay connected with the county's social media:
  • Get Thurston County Emergency Management updates on Facebook and Twitter:
    • Facebook: ThurstonEM
    • Twitter: @ThurstonEM

  • Follow Thurston County Public Works on Twitter: @Thurston_PW


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3