On May 11, The Small Business Administration (SBA) and the New Mexico Small Business Development Center Network announced the opening of an SBA Business Recovery Center in Ruidoso to provide support services to businesses impacted by the wildfires and straight-line winds that began on April 5, 2022.
SBA Offers Aid to Small Businesses Affected by New Mexico Wildfires
Affected businesses can seek business assistance on a wide variety of matters designed to help small business owners re-establish their operations, overcome the effects of the disaster and plan for their future.
Businesses of any size and private nonprofit organizations can borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. The loans are designed to cover losses that are not fully covered by insurance or other recoveries.
The loans come with interest rates as low as 2.94% for businesses, 1.875 % for private nonprofit organizations and 1.438% for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size can also apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.
The disaster loans available include up to $200,000 for homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are also eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.
Support to small businesses to access the services will include assessing business working capital needs, evaluating the business’s strength, cash flow projections, and reviewing alternatives free of charge.
“SBA representatives will meet with each business owner to explain how an SBA disaster loan can help finance their recovery. They will answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each business owner complete their electronic loan application,” said Tanya N. Garfield, SBA’s Disaster Field Operations for the Center-West.
Fire Season Destroying Properties in New Mexico and Arizona
New Mexico and Arizona are experiencing early fire season with many neighborhoods and businesses reduced to ashes, prompting the federal government to issue a disaster declaration for New Mexico on May 4, 2022. By early May, over 600 fires had broken out in the two states.
Federal funding is also available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures (Category B). These include direct federal assistance and reimbursement for mass care including evacuation and shelter support in the counties of Colfax, Lincoln, Mora, San Miguel, and Valencia.
Small businesses seeking support from the SBA can go in person to the Lincoln County Business Recovery Center located within Eastern New Mexico University. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email [email protected] for more information.
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