Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Getting Small Businesses Past Disasters

You are all aware of the rough weather we have had lately. In reviewing weather data from November 14th through November 23rd, there is a potential for requesting an Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program for those businesses who have been hit hard by the storms.

From past conversations with the SBA we know the following.

The State of WA only needs to submit a minimum of five EIDL worksheets for the state demonstrating substantial economic injury to meet SBA’s EIDL declaration criteria. We will need at least one worksheet for each county that the State requests to be declared. In addition to the primary counties that SBA may declare, the contiguous counties would also be eligible.

Two documents to help you during this process. 1) The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) FAQ sheet; 2) Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet for Businesses.

Now what do you need to do? Did you have roads closed that stopped people from getting to your business? How about the ferry that had to stop operation during the Gale force weather and you lost customers during that period? Or did the power outage stop you from even opening your door? This is economic injury! Fill out the form!

NOTE: Do not send the forms to the Washington Emergency Management Department. Doing so removes you from the information process and you may become unaware of what is happening.

Do send the forms to:
Rob Allen,
Pierce County Economic Development Department

The stronger we make our case to the SBA, the better it is for everyone. Remember, at least five businesses must complete the worksheet in order to request the program. Please note, the worksheets simply help establish that an economic injury has occurred. In no way does this mean that the business completing the form is applying for or is obligated in the future to apply for an SBA loan.

Here is some language from the federal rules regarding this program:

SBA makes an economic injury declaration in reliance on a state certification that at least 5 small business concerns in a disaster area have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the disaster and are in need of financial assistance not otherwise available on reasonable terms. The state certification must be signed by the Governor, must specify the county or counties or other political subdivisions in which the disaster occurred, and must be delivered (with supporting documentation) to the servicing SBA Disaster Area Office within 120 days of the disaster occurrence. The SBA Administrator may, in a case of undue hardship, accept such a request after 120 days have expired.

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