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SBA opens local Business Recovery Center

The U.S. Small Business Administration and the California Small Business Development Center opened a SBA Business Recovery Center in Merced to provide a wide range of services to businesses impacted by the severe winter storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides that occurred Dec. 27, 2022 – Jan. 31, 2023.

“Due to the severe property damage and economic losses inflicted on California businesses, we want to provide every available service to help get them back on their feet,” said SBA’s Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West. “The center will provide a one-stop location for businesses to access a variety of specialized help. SBA customer service representatives will be available to meet individually with each business owner,” she added. No appointment is necessary. All services are provided free of charge. The center will open as indicated below.

Business Recovery Center

UC Merced, Downtown Campus Center

First Floor Lobby

655 West 18th St.

Mondays – Fridays, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

“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 Garfield.

According to Central CA Small Business Development Center Executive Director Kurt Clark, SBDC business advisors will provide business assistance to clients 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. “Services include assessing business working capital needs, evaluating the business’s strength, cash flow projections, and most importantly, a review of options with the business owner to help them evaluate their alternatives and make decisions that are appropriate for their situation,” he said.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers 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.

For business owners who are unable to visit the business recovery center, they may apply online using SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/.

SBA representatives also continue to meet with business owners and residents at disaster recovery centers located throughout the impacted area. For a list of locations, or to receive additional disaster assistance information, visit SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email [email protected] for more information. For people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

The deadline to apply for property damage is March 16, 2023. The deadline to apply for economic injury is Oct. 16, 2023.

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