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SBA loans available for wide swath of Alaska hit by 2012 salmon disaster

Cordova Times

CORDOVA -- Federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are now available to small businesses economically impacted by the 2012 Alaska Chinook salmon fishery disaster, including the Copper River rural education attendance area.

The disaster declaration makes the working capital loans available to the primary areas of the Kenai Peninsula Borough, Lower Kuskokwim Rural Education Attendance Area, the Lower Yukon Rural Education Attendance Area and Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the SBA said in an announcement this week.

SBA assistance is also available to small businesses in the Denali, Kodiak Island and Like and Peninsula boroughs and the neighboring rural education attendance areas of Copper River, Bering Strait, Chugach, Delta/Greeley, Iditarod area, Kashunamiut (Chevak), Kuspuk, Southwest Region and Yupiit, as well as small businesses in the Municipality of Anchorage.

Applicants may apply for an SBA disaster loan online using the electronic loan application via SBA's secure website: http://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

For personalized counseling, visit the Alaska SBDC website.

SBA administrator Karen G. Mills said the SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster following a request received on Nov. 16 from Gov. Sean Parnell.

Eligible businesses include small businesses engaged in salmon fishing in waters affected by the closure, small businesses dependent on the catching or sale of salmon including suppliers of fishing gear and fuel, docks, boatyards, processors, wholesalers, shippers and retailers, and other small businesses dependent on revenue from the above. Employees or crew members are not eligible.

The loans may be used to pay fixed debts. Payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cant be paid because of the disaster's impact.

Eligibility is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. The loans have an interest rate of 4 percent for small businesses and 3 percent for private, nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years, and are restricted to small businesses without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Published by the Alaska Dispatch with the permission of The Cordova Times.