White Center businesses destroyed by fires now eligible for federal assistance

Photo Credit: Skyway Fire Department

Businesses devastated by fire after fire in White Center will soon be getting some much-needed assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

At least four separate fires have ripped through local businesses and damaged several others since July, leaving residents angry and weary, while business owners are left without means to put food on the table. The first fire on July 5 destroyed six businesses and was determined to be arson.

On Oct. 27, the SBA declared a disaster and opened federal loans for small businesses affected by the fire.

SBA assistance is now available in Chelan, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Pierce, Snohomish and Yakima counties.

"SBA’s mission-driven team stands ready to help Washington’s small businesses impacted by the White Center Fire," said SBA Administrator Isabella Guzman. "We’re committed to providing federal disaster loans swiftly and efficiently, with a customer-centric approach to help businesses and communities recover and rebuild."

These loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills business owners can no longer pay. They have an interest rate of 2.88% for small businesses and 2% for private nonprofits with terms up to 30 years, and are only for small businesses struggling to pay bills due to a lack of revenue caused by the White Center fire.

Business owners looking for assistance can visit the Disaster Loan Assistance page on the SBA website,  call (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can call (800) 877-8339, and business owners can also seek free, personalized counseling by visiting the Washington Small Business Development Center website, calling (833) 492-7232 or emailing washington@wsbdc.org.

Applications must be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The deadline to apply is July 26, 2022.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: White Center community supporting businesses destroyed by fire

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