SBA approves disaster loans

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

SBA approves disaster loansOn Aug. 7, Acting Administrator Christopher Pilkerton of the Small Business Administration announced a disaster for residents of Kern and San Bernardino counties following the destructive earthquakes that occurred July 4 and 5.

The declaration of emergency by SBA follows federal, state, county and city declarations, and requests for recovery assistance from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s California Office of Emergency Services.

Under the SBA declaration, residents and business owners are eligible for low-interest federal disaster loans to assist in the recovery from negative impacts from the earthquakes and thousands of aftershocks that followed.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing California with the most effective and customer-focused response possible,” said Pilkerton.

House Republican?Leader?Kevin McCarthy, who wrote a letter to Pilkerton prompting him to act, praised the resiliency of residents in Kern and San Bernardino counties.

“[Wednesday’s] announcement is reassuring news and could not have come at a more crucial time,” he said. “The disaster declaration will make critical SBA assistance programs available to earthquake victims, helping homeowners and local businesses return to a semblance of normalcy.”

Outreach centers will open today, Aug. 9, at the Kerr McGee Center in Ridgecrest and at 13207 Jones St. in Trona. Hours of operation will be weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Representatives will be on hand to answer questions and help individuals with the application process.

“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,” said an SBA representative. “SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.”

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

The deadline to apply for property damage is Oct. 7. The deadline to apply for economic injury is May 7, 2020.

Pictured: SSUSD?Nutrition Services Director Kristen Groves, volunteering as a chef in the World Central Kitchen operation set up following the earthquakes — Courtesy photo

Story First Published: 2019-08-09