Recovery loans available to small businesses hurt by Glenwood Canyon disaster
Businesses hurt by natural disasters and the subsequent closures of Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon are eligible to apply for disaster relief loans.
Gov. Jared Polis, the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness announced the loans Friday in a news release.
The governor’s Aug. 3 disaster declaration for the area prompted availability of the loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.
“The closure resulted in loss (of) revenues between 50% and 75% for hundreds of small-town businesses; and reduced outdoor recreation business due to the closure of Glenwood Canyon and resultant loss of access to portions of the Colorado River,” Polis said in a Sept. 10 letter to the SBA.
The loans are for businesses in Garfield, Eagle, Mesa, Pitkin, Rio Blanco and Routt counties that have suffered because of flooding, mudslides, rockslides and the summer traffic closures through Glenwood Canyon.
“We took action immediately to help Coloradans impacted by the Glenwood Canyon closures and this additional funding will provide continued support to the small businesses affected by this devastating disaster. I thank our federal partners for fulfilling our request to help us build our roads back better and for their work to provide important relief to our small businesses,” Polis said in Friday’s news release.
Eligibility is based on financial impact of the disaster only, not on any actual property damage, the release said. The loans have a 2.855% interest rate for small businesses and 2% for private, nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years. The loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that are unpaid because of the disaster. The loans will be granted when the SBA determines that small businesses affected are unable to secure credit elsewhere. The maximum loan amount is $2 million.
The Grand Junction Small Business Development Center is offering free counseling to help distressed businesses recover. Businesses can email [email protected]; or call 970-243-5242; or visit the SBDC office, 2591 Legacy Way, Grand Junction, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In-person visitors are urged to call first to make an appointment.
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