Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fire disaster loan office to open in Hailey

SBA administrator signs declaration

Express Staff Writer

Wood River Valley small businesses that have taken an economic hit because of losses due to the Castle Rock Fire can now obtain low-interest loans of up to $1.5 million from the federal government.

Federal Small Business Administration Administrator Steven Preston signed a disaster declaration for Economic Injury Disaster Loans on Tuesday, Sept. 11, paving the way for an SBA office to open Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Idaho Department of Labor in Hailey. Located at 513 N. Main Street, Suite One, the office will be open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. No appointment is needed and representatives will walk people through the application process. The office will remain open through Sept. 27.

SBA spokesman Mark Randle said most loan requests are automatically approved as long as business owners can show that their business would go under from economic losses as a result of the fire. The 4 percent loans have repayment terms of up to 30 years.

The loans are available for businesses in Blaine and nine other counties.

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter signed a request for Economic Injury Disaster Declaration on Sept. 7. The paperwork, including 23 worksheets from local business owners, was sent to the SBA's Office of Disaster Assistance-Field Operations Center West in Sacramento, Calif.

The process was started by state Sen. Clint Stennett, D-Ketchum, and state Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, with help from the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau.

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