The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) plays a significant role in helping disaster survivors recover

Californians in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and San Diego counties who were affected by the December wildfires and recent mudslides and flooding, may be referred to the SBA after applying for disaster assistance with FEMA. If you are contacted and asked to submit an application for a low-interest SBA disaster loan, don’t hesitate to apply.

Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 from SBA to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury.

You don’t have to accept the loan, if you qualify. If you don’t qualify, you may also be referred back to FEMA for other grants, which covers items like disaster-related car repairs, clothing, essential household items and other expenses. Applicants can’t be considered for these grants unless the SBA loan application is completed and returned.

In planning your recovery, give yourself the widest possible set of options. Submitting the application makes it possible for you to be considered for additional grants, and if you qualify for a loan you will have that resource available if you choose to use it.

Applicants may apply online using SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. They may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call 800-877-8339.

For more information on California recovery, visit the disaster web page at www.fema.gov/disaster/4353, Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/femaregion9 and WildfireRecovery.org.

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