Cantwell, Murray Applaud Approval of Small Business Administration Disaster Aid for Malden & Other Washington Communities Devastated by Wildfires

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) today applauded the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) approval of a disaster declaration that will allow people in Malden and other communities in Whitman, Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Franklin, Garfield, Lincoln, and Spokane counties to access SBA disaster relief. Today’s announcement comes after the Biden administration approved a long-overdue federal emergency disaster declaration last week to help impacted Washington communities recover from devastating wildfires in September 2020 and after months of advocacy from Senator Cantwell, Senator Murray, and other members of the Washington congressional delegation. Specifically, this announcement will enable people in the affected counties to access low interest Physical Damage Loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).

 “I’m pleased the Small Business Administration has approved this long-overdue assistance to help people in Malden and other impacted communities in our state rebuild their homes and businesses,” Senator Cantwell said.

“I’m glad that we’ve been able to work with the Biden-Harris Administration to secure approval for this important relief from the Small Business Administration to help those in Malden, who have lost so much to these devastating wildfires, finally start to recover,” Senator Murray said. “I want families to know we are in this for the long haul with you, and we will keep working to get you every resource we can.”  

Senators Cantwell and Murray wrote to President Biden on January 22 urging him to quickly approve Governor Inslee’s request for a disaster declaration, and since President Biden assumed office in January Senator Cantwell, Senator Murray, and their staffs have worked closely with the Biden Administration to get relief to Washington state communities in need. These efforts followed months of political delays by the Trump Administration on aid, despite multiple bipartisan overtures from Senators Cantwell and Murray and Washington state’s entire congressional delegation. On December 8, Senator Murray led Washington state’s full congressional delegation in a letter to President Trump and FEMA Administrator Gaynor urging approval of Governor Inslee’s September request for a federal emergency disaster declaration to address wildfire destruction in Whitman County that destroyed the community of Malden and other areas in Eastern Washington. This followed letters, led by Senator Murray, from the entire Washington state congressional delegation first on September 17 and then again on October 13 in support of Governor Inslee’s multiple requests for a Major Disaster Declaration for the state of Washington and supplemental federal assistance.   

More information on SBA’s disaster declaration is available HERE