Bennet Welcomes SBA Assistance for Businesses, Individuals Affected by Black Forest Fire

SBA Makes Disaster Loans Available

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today welcomed the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) announcement that low-interest federal disaster loans would be made available to businesses and residents impacted by the Black Forest fire.

For businesses, Economic Injury Disaster Loans loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other obligations that businesses aren’t able to meet due to the disaster’s impact. Loans are also available to businesses to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory, and other business assets.

For individuals, loans are available to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property or real estate.

“These federal resources are critical to helping our southern Colorado communities rebuild from the devastating effects of this summer’s Black Forest fire,” Bennet said. “Some residents and businesses lost everything and these low-interest loans will help support them on their road to recovery.”

Beginning today and extending through Thursday, August 29, SBA customer service representatives and counselors from the Colorado Springs Small Business Development Center will be on hand at Black Forest Fire Station One to provide financial counseling services and information on applying for these loans. Fire Station One is located at 11445 Teachout Road in Black Forest.

Bennet has been advocating for federal resources to combat the devastating effects of wildfire in the state.  Last month, he joined members of the Colorado delegation in successfully urging President Obama to designate the Black Forest and Royal Gorge Fires as major disasters and pushing the SBA to quickly approve a disaster declaration for the West Fork Fire Complex. He was also instrumental in securing Emergency Watershed Protection funds for areas affected by last year's High Park and Waldo Canyon fires and supported legislation to allow the Forest Service to operate additional air tanker's to fight wildfires.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at  Additional disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA's Customer Service Center by calling SBA toll-free at (800)659-2955, emailing, or visiting SBA's website at  Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800)877-8339.