Federal Loans Available For Those Who Suffered Damage in Bobcat Fire


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Authorities reminded Southland residents today that loans are available through the U.S. Small Business Administration for Los Angeles County residents and businesses that suffered damage as a result of the Bobcat Fire in the Angeles National Forest.

The fire, which began on Sept. 6, has scorched 115,796 acres and was holding at 92% containment as of the latest update from the U.S. Forest Service. Full containment is expected Oct. 30.

The blaze destroyed 171 structures, including 87 residences, and damaged 47 structures, including 28 residences. Six injuries were reported.

Under the federal loan program, businesses of all sizes 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.

SBA low-interest loans can also help businesses with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Those who need assistance with their application can visit the Los Angeles County Disaster Help Center at lacountyhelpcenter.org, or call 833-238-4450.

Multilingual business counselors are standing by to assist business owners in completing applications Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. To apply:

-- Complete an application online at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov;

-- Call SBA's Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance;

-- Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call 800-877-8339;

-- The SBA is also offering assistance through its Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center at FOCWAssistance@sba.gov or by phone at 800-659-2955.

On Friday, President Donald Trump approved California's bid for disaster relief funds to assist the response to wildfires statewide, including in Los Angeles and San Diego counties. The declaration freed up millions of dollars in federal relief funding for recovery efforts across the state, including in response to the Bobcat Fire, the Valley Fire in San Diego County and blazes in San Bernardino, Fresno, Madera, Mendocino and Siskiyou counties.

Photo: Getty Images

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