Financial assistance is available to those who suffered losses during our recent storms, be it flood-type damage or economic injury. The U.S. Small Business Administration, a federal agency, has a temporary office set up in Big Bear Lake, to assist residents, non-profits and business owners in securing loans, with below-market interest rates available (specifically, as low as 2.562 percent for homeowners, and four percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years). According to Michael Flores with the U.S. Small Business Administration, who has opened an office at the Big Bear Lake Civic Center as of this morning (February 18), “Because of flooding and winter storms that happened in Big Bear, the Small Business Administration is opening a Disaster Loan Outreach Center. For flooding, tornadoes, any sort of natural disaster that occurs, including extreme snow, the U.S. Small Business Administration provides disaster loans to homeowners, renters and businesses. The SBA strongly encourages anyone affected by this declared disaster to come into the Disaster Loan Outreach Center for assistance and speak with a representative.” For small businesses that may not have received physical damage, but suffered losses due to snow-prompted closures, loans are also available. As Flores tells KBHR, “Those are economic injury disaster loans, and those are working capital loans for businesses that were affected.” Individuals, non-profits and business owners interested in pursuing low-cost loans through the federal government can visit the temporary office of the U.S. Small Business Administration at the Big Bear Lake Civic Center, located at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear Lake; at this time, the office will be open weekdays from 8:30am to 4:30pm for an undetermined length of time, though likely a few weeks. Adds SBA’s Regional Administrator Alberto Alvarado, “Beginning Thursday, February 18, SBA customer service representatives will be on hand to issue loan applications, answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each individual complete their application.” No appointment is necessary.
Update as of March 1: The SBA office in Big Bear Lake will remain open through Thursday, March 11.