California residents and businesses in rural areas that were impacted by the 2023 severe weather can apply for financial assistance. In partnership with the Small Business Administration (SBA), the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is encouraging eligible parties to apply.
On August 9, 2023, eight California counties were declared as a part of the Rural Disaster Declaration, expanding access to affordable federal disaster loans in rural communities.
The application deadline for low-interest loans through SBA for property damage in California is October 10, 2023, and May 9, 2024 for economic injury.
The rural disaster declaration covers Calaveras, Fresno, Inyo, Kings, Marin, Plumas, Santa Barbara and Trinity counties, making SBA assistance available in these regions.
The Rural Communities Act, enacted in June, enables easier disaster declarations for rural areas. Previously, the SBA required at least 25 affected properties for a declaration. Now, only one damaged property in a rural area suffices if the county has received a major disaster declaration for Public Assistance.
Economic assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.
Disaster loans up to $500,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $100,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property, including personal vehicles.
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 can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize future disaster damage.
The deadline for property damage applications is Oct. 10, 2023.
For more information and to apply, visit https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. Alternatively, applicants can contact SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For those with hearing impairments or speech disabilities, telecommunications relay services can be accessed by dialing 7-1-1.