SBA offers businesses aid following devastating storms

The U.S. Small Business Administration opens up a business recovery center at the Tulare County Workforce Investment Board

VISALIA – After a series of storms engulfed the county in damages, small businesses began their long road to recovery. To speed up the process, a business recovery center was set up in the county.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the California Small Business Development Center announced the opening of an SBA Business Recovery Center in Visalia on Monday, April 10. The recovery center will be located at the Tulare County Workforce Investment Board, and will provide a wide range of services to businesses impacted by the recent winter storms. The deadline to apply for property damage is June 2, 2023. The deadline to apply for economic injury is Jan. 3, 2024.

“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,” SBA’s Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West said.

According to Director Rich Mostert of the Valley Community Small Business Development Center, business counselors can provide business assistance to clients on a wide variety of matters. The assistance provided is 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,” Mostert said.

Businesses of any size and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. These loans cover losses that are not fully covered by insurance or other recoveries.

“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,” Garfield 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 homeowners or renters, the SBA disaster loans are a source of money to pay for repair or replacement costs not fully covered by insurance or other compensation. Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. They may also borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property, including vehicles.

“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,” Garfield said.

SBA representatives will meet with business owners and residents at disaster recovery centers located throughout the impacted area as they are established. For a list of locations, or to receive additional disaster assistance information, visit SBA’s website at Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email [email protected] for more information. For business owners who are unable to visit the business recovery center, they may apply online using SBA’s secure website at

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