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SBA approves disaster loans for residents, businesses affected by wildfires

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Pateros-scorched (6)

Many homes burned to the ground in Pateros, Wash., as a wildfire swept through it. (Photo: Steve Kiggins/KCPQ-TV)

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday that the U.S. Small Business Administration had declared a disaster to help home and business owners affected by the wildfires that swept through Central Washington this summer.

Inslee’s office said the disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available to qualified businesses and residents in Okanogan County and the neighboring counties of Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Grant, Lincoln, Skagit and Whatcom.

“I commend the SBA for making this declaration,” Inslee said. “I reached out to SBA last Friday to ensure it understood the challenges facing those impacted by this disaster. We have hundreds of individuals, families, and business owners that are still struggling to fully recover from the fires over the summer. These low-income loans will provide a helpful hand up to ensure these folks get back on their feet.”

Last week, FEMA informed Inslee that his appeal for its Individual Assistance program had been denied, which would have automatically provided grants to help affected individuals, families and businesses. After being informed of FEMA’s decision, Inslee sought the SBA disaster declaration as an alternate way of making low-interest, long-term loans available.

 

Inslee’s office said that, starting Tuesday, SBA representatives will be on hand at Disaster Loan Outreach Centers in Pateros and Twisp to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help individuala complete their application.

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

 

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