Cantwell Hails Opening of SBA Disaster Loan Office to Help Businesses Impacted by Bridge Collapse

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) hailed the opening of a Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Mount Vernon. The opening comes on the heels of yesterday’s announcement by the SBA that low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans would be made available to small businesses affected by the I-5 Skagit River Bridge collapse.

Officials from the SBA opened the Mount Vernon Disaster Loan Outreach Center today at 8 am and are now available to go over the application process with Washington business owners and answer questions related to the program. The Center, co-located at the Economic Development Association of Skagit County (EDASC), will be open Mondays through Fridays from 8 am to 5 pm. The loans are available to impacted businesses in Skagit, Chelan, Island, Okanogan, Snohomish and Whatcom counties.

“We are moving forward on needed relief for Northwest Washington small businesses,” said Cantwell. “I’m glad the SBA recognized Skagit County’s importance as a hub of economic activity where $38 million in U.S.-Canada trade goes across the I-5 corridor daily. These loans will ensure that impacted small businesses can access the capital they need to continue serving their customers. I’m proud of the way federal, state, and local officials have worked with the community in a true team effort to prove Skagit County is open for business.” 

Economic Injury Disaster Loans help impacted businesses cover uninsured expenses and financial obligations after a disaster. Loan amounts can be up to $2 million and depend on a business’s financial need and disaster-related losses. Loan interest rates are 4 percent for a term up to 30 years. In order to qualify, the SBA must determine the business is unable to get credit elsewhere. More information about the loans and eligibility can be found here. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site here.

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, e-mailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visiting SBA’s Web site.

Since the collapse of the I-5 Bridge on May 23, Cantwell has worked with the Northwest Washington delegation to assist impacted communities. On June 25, Cantwell, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), and U.S. Representatives Rick Larsen (WA-02) and Suzan DelBene (WA-01) wrote a letter to the SBA urging the approval of Washington state’s request for the Economic Injury Disaster Loans. 

On June 13, the Northwest Washington delegation announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has made available $15.6 million in emergency funds to support temporary and permanent repairs to the I-5 Skagit River Bridge. Cantwell held a roundtable with Skagit County business leaders on June 7 to discuss the impacts of the bridge collapse on the local economy. That meeting marked her third visit to the area since the bridge collapsed.