OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
December 15, 2010
Columbia County Receives Small Business Disaster Assistance Declaration
ST. HELENS–Small, non-farm businesses in Columbia County are eligible for disaster assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for potential losses from last spring’s excessive rain and low temperatures.
This assistance was made possible due to an agricultural disaster declaration made by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on December 8th for damage to crops from low temperatures that occurred between April 1st through July 4th, 2010. That declaration was for Multnomah and Clackamas Counties, but Columbia County was added because contiguous counties are allowed to access programs under those declarations.
“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” explains Alfred Judd, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center–West.
This declaration can give such much-needed assistance to local businesses, according to Columbia County Emergency Management Director Derek White. “It is quite possible that the agricultural weather issues from earlier this year could have had an effect on other types of businesses. This low-interest loan program could help businesses still struggling from that weather event”, White says.
Information and application forms are available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or visiting SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance . Hearing impaired individuals may call (800) 877-8339.
The deadline to apply for these loans is August 8, 2011.
Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance, but are eligible for USDA assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the local Farm Services Agency (FSA) office at (503) 725-2300. The agricultural disaster assistance deadline is also August 8, 2011.
To read more about assistance available, visit Columbia County Emergency Management online at http://columbiacountyem.blogspot.com or call 503-366-3931.