Originally published November 8, 2017 at midnight, updated November 8, 2017 at midnight
Hood River County businesses can now get direct aid from the Federal SBA (Small Business Administration) disaster loan program to help Hood River businesses recover from lost revenue from September's Eagle Creek fire.
SBA is accepting loan applications now through next summer from business and nonprofit organizations suffering Eagle Creek Fire impacts in Hood River, Multnomah, Wasco and adjacent counties.
According to Hood River County Emergency Manager Barb Ayers, Gov. Kate Brown activated the program by writing a letter to SBA seeking the economic injury loan program at the request of Hood River County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Management and partner agencies at Multnomah and Wasco County and Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM).
Collected Hood River business worksheets cited cumulative losses of $215,746 in revenue for three weeks of the Eagle Creek fire in September.
“This was from 14 small business, just a small sample of the overall businesses affected. Businesses cited long term impacts of this devastating wildfire during peak Gorge tourism season, complications of long term I-84 closures, regional media attention and smoky air that deterred visitation and normal business activities,” Ayers noted.
The loan terms are favorable, according to Ayers — long-term (up to 30 years,) low interest rates (2.5-3.3 percent) to help offset business losses from the fire disaster.
All businesses in Hood River and qualifying counties are now able to apply directly to SBA. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
Applicants may also call SBA's Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on SBA disaster assistance.