By DOUGLAS W. MOTLEY
Crestline Chamber of Commerce President Michelle Hake told The Alpine Mountaineer on April 19 that San Bernardino County is one of eight California counties that are now eligible for federal disaster relief funds, with grants and loans up to $200,000 available for homeowners and $2 million for businesses that have suffered physical and economic losses related to the recent series of destructive rain and snowstorms. San Bernardino County was declared as one of the primary counties for this presidential declaration.
“The chamber is working to schedule a community information meeting at San Moritz Lodge for as early as next week with the representative from the SBA (Small Business Administration),” Hake said, noting that a time and day have yet to be set. She added that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) is planning to set up local disaster recovery centers on the mountain where individuals will be able to visit and ask questions in person. “Once those locations are established, they will be open daily until, likely, June.”
According to Barbara Nitis, the SBA Public Information Officer who will be overseeing San Bernardino County, the SBA is assisting homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profit organizations, including places of worship, that suffered from continuing severe storms, flooding, straight-line winds, landslides and mudslides with receiving disaster assistance. “If you would like a meeting or have any further questions about SBA assistance, the best way to reach me is on my cell, (571) 752-0660, or by email: [email protected].”
“The SBA continues to offer disaster assistance by way of low-interest federal loans to those affected by the severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding. For physical damage loans, the deadline is June 2, 2023. For economic injury disaster loans, the deadline is January 3, 2024. We encourage people to complete the SBA application even if they are not sure if they need it yet. If approved, the loan becomes an option.”
Available to businesses of any size and private non-profit organizations is up to $2,000,000 to repair or replace real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other assets that were damaged or destroyed; and homeowners can get up to $200,000 to repair or replace real estate damage and up to $40,000 to replace personal property, while renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. Interest rates can be as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.375 percent for private non-profit organizations and 2.375 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at: [email protected]. Applicants can also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 for more information on SBA disaster assistance.