Aid offered to firms hit by salmon closures

By Kurt Madar, The Triplicate May 26, 2009 10:28 am
Team in town on Wednesday regarding loans

The closing of the 2009 commercial salmon fishing season spells economic woe for Del Norte County, but there is one small bright spot.

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that low interest disaster loans are available to small businesses that have suffered financial losses due to the closure.

SBA is offering working capital loans of up to $2 million at an interest rate of 4 percent and with terms up to 30 years, a press release states.

These “loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact,” said SBA Disaster Field Operations Center Director Alfred Judd.

Judd said SBA customer service representatives will be visiting affected communities along the California coast in the upcoming months to answer questions and provide assistance.

Eligible companies include small businesses engaged in salmon fishing and those dependent on the catch, including suppliers of maritime gear,  boatyards and seafood processors.

Business representatives interested in the loans can apply on-line at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela . Information is also available by calling SBA at (800) 488-5323.

In addition, a team of officials will be in Crescent City beginning Wednesday to talk with people interested in the loans.