Business affected by 9-11 can receive federal loan |

Business affected by 9-11 can receive federal loan

For business owners who can make a case that their economic downturn was due to the events of Sept. 11, money is available.

However, it’s important to know that qualifying with the U.S. Small Business Administration for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan may be easier said than done.

The SBA has strict criteria to follow for the low-interest business loans that may amount to up to $1.5 million for working capital.

More than 80 Nevada loan applications have been denied since the 4 percent loans became available in October nationwide.

Nevada businesses have received just under $1.3 million in assistance, while California has scored $14.3 million in loans, the SBA western region reported Tuesday.

The region, which is processing $25 million in approved loans, also consists of Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon, Washington state and Guam.

The deadline to apply has been extended to April 22.

“Basically, what we look for is we say (the loss) has to be something directly related to the events of Sept. 11 or due to subsequent action,” western region Public Information Officer Rick Jenkins said.

Jenkins described “subsequent action” as the closing of the local airport, in this case the Reno/Tahoe International Airport. Qualification may even include the pullback of an airport’s regular flight schedule.

“South Lake Tahoe was obviously impacted by the drop in tourism, but (the impact) was greatly reduced by the drive-up market,” Jenkins said. He compared the basin’s reliance on air traffic with markets like Hawaii.

The region’s frequent loan denials may have occurred from businesses that have already accrued losses prior to Sept. 11. Reports have indicated the nation’s recession starting in March.

“A lot of times we’ll get disaster loan applications from businesses on the skids anyway,” Jenkins said from his Sacramento office.

Approved loans will be granted if a business also shows the ability to repay. The SBA bases its findings on the company’s financial position prior to Sept. 11.

“Regardless, if a business thinks it’s eligible, (it) should submit an application,” he said.

To apply, a business operator may call the Sacramento office at 800-488-5323. A loan officer will field the call and send a form to the applicant. Nevada businesses may contact SBA representative Kathy Halbardier at 775-848-2864.

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