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U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Assistance Available to Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Interstate 10 Fire

U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Assistance Available to Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Interstate 10 Fire 672 171 COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

February 9, 2024
Lara Arsinian, Head of Marketing & Communicationspress@opportunity.lacounty.gov, 844-777-2059

U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Assistance Available to Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Interstate 10 Freeway  

Business owners in Los Angeles County who suffered economic impacts as a result of the Interstate 10 Freeway (I-10 or 10 Freeway) fire on November 11, 2023 and road closures through November 19, 2023 can now apply for low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  

On February 2, 2024, the SBA issued a disaster declaration for the I-10 freeway fire and road closures after receiving 104 applications from impacted businesses and opened the SBA Business Recovery Center in Los Angeles County. The SBA Business Recovery Center connects impacted businesses to newly available disaster loans with the support of multi-lingual, in-person, and online SBA customer service representatives who are ready to answer questions about the SBA disaster loan program, explain the application process, and help each business owner complete their application. 

“I thank President Joe Biden for his diligent work to address the economic injury and personal impacts the fire and road closures have had on local businesses and workers in the area,” said Supervisor Hilda Solis. “By deploying the SBA to open a Business Recovery Center near the incident site, President Biden is doubling his commitment to uplift our small business community – the backbone of our local economy. I was proud to direct the County in immediately deploying resources to a Local Business Assistance Resource Center – a one-stop shop where those impacted by the emergency could obtain assistance, services, and resources from government agencies and non-profit organizations. Now that we have the SBA in town, the County stands ready to connect small business owners and workers to the vital loan program. Their success is our success.” 

Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in agriculture, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes are eligible to apply for the federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). EIDLs are working capital loans of up to $2 million to help meet the ordinary and necessary financial obligations and operating expenses that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period. Loan rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses and small agricultural cooperatives and 3.25 percent for private non-profit organizations and are typically 30-year loans. Shorter terms are available. Impacted businesses may apply through the Economic Injury Deadline of October 28, 2024. 

Impacted businesses can access the center today until further notice:  

  • In-Person – Los Angeles County Business Recovery Center 
    • Where: Downtown Industrial District Business Improvement District (BID) at 725 Crocker Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021.
    • Hours:
      • Mondays – Fridays, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 
      • On Thursday, Feb. 15 only, 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
      • No appointments necessary 
  • Virtual – Los Angeles County Business Recovery Center
    • Email: FOCWAssistance@sba.gov  
    • Phone: (916) 735-1501 
    • Hours: Monday – Friday. 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

Applicants can also apply or obtain additional disaster assistance information at SBA.gov/disaster. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. For people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services. 

The declaration and SBA Business Recovery Center follows the immediate and collaborative action by the City and County of Los Angeles as well as Together for LA in November to mitigate the impacts of the fire for our most vulnerable workers and small businesses. Together for LA is cross sector collaborative of public, private, and social sector partners that formed to support small businesses during the pandemic and encourage economic resiliency.  

The Office of First District Supervisor Hilda Solis, the Office of Mayor Karen Bass, the LA City Economic and Workforce Development Department, the LA County Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), the LA County Office of Emergency Management, and the LA County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs mobilized a Local Business Assistance Center (Center) in November at Young’s Market Company, bringing together multi-lingual information, services, and resources for those small businesses and workers directly impacted. The Center was open November 20th through the 28th, hosted 11 Local, State, and Federal agencies and seven non-profit partners, and served 117 impacted businesses and workers reporting $6,773,526.45 in damages from the fire with capital access, legal and immigration aid, health and mental health care, connections to small business and workforce resources, and food and other basic needs. 

Capital access remains the primary need for full recovery. Wells Fargo supported DEO and Inclusive Action for the City (IAC) with $50,000 in grants for 11 impacted small businesses. Another 104 submitted applications for this SBA declaration, which now unlocks low-interest capital for the local area for the coming year.  

“We thank the SBA for their partnership to bring critical resources to those most heavily impacted by the I-10 Freeway fire,” said Kevin McGowan, Director of LA County’s Office of Emergency Management. “Successful recovery from any emergency or disaster requires a unified effort from a multitude of partners. Following the success of the Local Business Assistance Center, this SBA Declaration and the establishment of the SBA Business Recovery Center are welcomed next steps on this journey to recovery.”   

“We know that a fire or road closure is not just an interruption for a single news cycle – these events have the potential to upend an entire small business and workforce,” said Kelly LoBianco, Director of LA County’s Department of Economic Opportunity “We are proud of our region’s ability to work quickly and in partnership with City, County, and our public, private, social and philanthropic partners to bring together resources to weather this I-10 storm and also build future resiliency for our small business community. We can use this emergency and these disaster loans to create new economic opportunity.” 

“Wells Fargo is committed to strengthening and providing the necessary resources to our local small business community,” said Gregg Sherkin, Senior Vice President of Philanthropy & Community Impact for California. “The collaboration with DEO and IAC allowed for immediate assistance to the businesses impacted by the fire so that many can recover and rebuild.” 

“Microbusinesses are the smallest of small businesses, and they often don’t qualify for support services or resources distributed during a crisis. We wanted to make sure that these businesses that experienced damages and lost revenue during and after the fire, had an outlet for recovery. Our grants ranged from $3,000 to $10,000, and offered a lifeline for street vendors and brick-and-mortar businesses, ranging from flower shops to manufacturing,” said Doug Smith, Senior Director, Policy & Legal Strategy from Inclusive Action for the City.

All impacted businesses are encouraged to visit the now open Los Angeles County Business Recovery Center. They are also encouraged to connect with DEO’s Office of Small Business to connect to free legal services, access to capital, contracting opportunities, talent development, entrepreneurship resources, and much more. For assistance in English and Spanish, call DEO’s Office of Small Business at (844)-432-4900 or email at osb@opportunity.lacounty.gov. You can also visit us in-person Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm at the East Los Angeles Entrepreneur Center at 4716 Cesar E. Chavez, Los Angeles, CA 90022. For additional information, visit opportunity.lacounty.gov 


Los Angeles County Department of Economic Opportunity: Business and worker supports following the I-10 Freeway fire and road closures were overseen by the LA County Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). DEO, launched in July 2022, helps job seekers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and residents access life changing opportunities, and is home to Office of Small Business, LA County’s one stop shop dedicated to prospective entrepreneurs and small business owners. Follow @EconOppLA on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook or visit opportunity.lacounty.gov to get the latest from Team DEO. 

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