Napa Sonoma SBDCSanta Rosa and Napa, California

Wildfire-Impacted Businesses

For recent California Wildfires, see the California Declaration fact sheets: English  |  Español

Is your Business Impacted by Wildfires?

If your business has been impacted by the 2020 Northern California wildfires per the California Disaster Declarations, you can apply for assistance. The SBA provides loans to cover any combination of property damage or economic injury for eligible businesses of all sizes, including most private nonprofit organizations.

  • Property Damage: Loans to repair or replace real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other assets that were damaged or destroyed (available to businesses of any size and private, non-profit organizations).
  • Economic Injury: Loans for small businesses and most private non-profit organizations suffering adverse financial impacts of the disaster (with or without property loss), loans for working capital (called Economic Injury Disaster Loans) to help pay obligations until normal operations resume.

Wildfire Disaster Assistance Q&A

Which wildfires and counties are covered?

Northern CA Wildfires 8/14 to 9/26/20 - CA Declaration #16603 and #16604:

  • Physical damage disaster loans available for: Butte, Lake, Lassen, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo,  Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Trinity, Tulare & Yolo. 
    Deadline to file for physical damage: November 23, 2020 
  • Economic injury loans available for: Alameda, Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Inyo, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Marin, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Monterey, Napa, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo,  San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Yolo & Yuba.
    Deadline to file for economic injury: May 24, 2021 

California Wildfires 9/4 Onward - CA Declaration #16704 and #16705:

  • Physical damage disaster loans available for: Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, Napa, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Siskiyou & Sonoma.
    Deadline to file for physical damage: December 15, 2020  
  • Economic injury loans available for: Del Norte, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, , Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Plumas, Riverside, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo; La Paz, AZ; Clark, NV & Jackson, Josephine and Klamath in OR. 
  • Deadline to file for economic injury: July 16, 2021

What types of SBA disaster assistance are available to businesses?  

  • Business Physical Disaster Loans – Loans to businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible. Private, non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc., are also eligible.  
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) – Working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period. 
  • Home Disaster Loans – Loans to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and personal property, including automobiles.   

What are the SBA loan limits?

  • Business Loans – The law limits business loans to $2,000,000 for the repair or replacement of real estate, inventories, machinery, equipment and all other physical losses. Subject to this maximum, loan amounts cannot exceed the verified uninsured disaster loss.  
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) – The law limits EIDLs to $2,000,000 for alleviating economic injury caused by the disaster. The actual amount of each loan is limited to the economic injury determined by SBA, less business interruption insurance and other recoveries up to the administrative lending limit. EIDL assistance is available only to entities and their owners who cannot provide for their own recovery from non-government sources, as determined by the U.S. Small Business Administration.  
  • Business Loan Ceiling – The $2,000,000 statutory limit for business loans applies to the combination of physical, economic injury, mitigation and refinancing, and applies to all disaster loans to a business and its affiliates for each disaster. If a business is a major source of employment, SBA has the authority to waive the $2,000,000 statutory limit.  
  • Home Loans – SBA regulations limit home loans to $200,000 for the repair or replacement of real estate and $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. Subject to these maximums, loan amounts cannot exceed the verified uninsured disaster loss.  

What are the SBA credit requirements?

  • Credit History – You must have a credit history acceptable to SBA. 
  • Repayment – You must show that you have the ability to repay all loans. 
  • Collateral – Collateral is required for physical loss loans over $25,000 and all EIDL loans over $25,000. The SBA takes real estate as collateral when it is available. The SBA will not decline a loan for lack of collateral, but requires you to pledge what is available. 

What are the SBA interest rates?

  • By law, the interest rates depend on whether you have Credit Available Elsewhere. An applicant does not have Credit Available Elsewhere when SBA determines the applicant does not have sufficient funds or other resources, or the ability to borrow from non-government sources, to provide for its own disaster recovery. An applicant, which SBA determines to have the ability to provide for his or her own recovery, is deemed to have Credit Available Elsewhere.
  • Interest rates are fixed for the term of the loan.

The interest rates applicable for this disaster are: 

What are SBA loan terms?

The law authorizes loan terms up to a maximum of 30 years. However, the law restricts businesses with credit available elsewhere to a maximum 7-year term. SBA sets the installment payment amount and corresponding maturity based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

What restrictions are there on SBA loan eligibility?

  • Uninsured Losses – Only uninsured or otherwise uncompensated disaster losses are eligible. Any insurance proceeds which are required to be applied against outstanding mortgages are not available to fund disaster repairs and do not reduce loan eligibility. However, any insurance proceeds voluntarily applied to any outstanding mortgages do reduce loan eligibility. 
  • Ineligible Property – Secondary homes, personal pleasure boats, airplanes, recreational vehicles and similar property are not eligible, unless used for business purposes. Property such as antiques and collections are eligible only to the extent of their functional value. Amounts for landscaping, swimming pools, etc., are limited. 
  • Noncompliance – Applicants who have not complied with the terms of previous SBA loans may not be eligible. This includes borrowers who did not maintain flood and/or hazard insurance on previous SBA loans. 

How does I apply for SBA assistance?

You may apply online or download and print applications to complete off-line and mail to SBA: http://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov

Questions? Contact the SBA Customer Service Center: (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

  • Please note this is a different application from COVID EIDL program. 
  • Using the online application is recommended. 
  • If you decide to print out and mail your application, mail it with supporting documents to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. 

How can I get help with my SBA disaster loan application?

  • Contact the SBA Virtual Business Recovery Center which is available by phone, Monday-Friday from 5:00 am – 5:00pm PT at (916) 735-1500 or by emailing: FOCWAssistance@sba.gov
  • You may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. 

I have an EIDL loan under the COVID EIDL program.  Am I eligible for wildfire assistance also? 

Yes.  Any affected business, homeowner or renter is eligible for disaster assistance as a result of damages or losses from the wildfires.   

Can I get help funding Mitigation Improvements? 

If your loan application is approved, you may be eligible for additional funds to cover the cost of improvements that will protect your property against future damage. Examples of improvements include retaining walls, seawalls, sump pumps, etc. Mitigation loan money would be in addition to the amount of the approved loan, but may not exceed 20 percent of total amount of physical damage to real property, including leasehold improvements, and personal property as verified by SBA to a maximum of $200,000 for home loans. It is not necessary for the description of improvements and cost estimates to be submitted with the application. SBA approval of the mitigating measures will be required before any loan increase. 

Can I get help for refinancing? 

The SBA can refinance all or part of prior mortgages that are evidenced by a recorded lien, when the applicant (1) does not have credit available elsewhere, (2) has suffered substantial uncompensated disaster damage (40 percent or more of the value of the property or 50% or more of the value of the structure), and (3) intends to repair the damage. 
Businesses – Business owners may be eligible for the refinancing of existing mortgages or liens on real estate, machinery and equipment, up to the amount of the loan for the repair or replacement of real estate, machinery, and equipment. 
Homes – Homeowners may be eligible for the refinancing of existing liens or mortgages on homes, up to the amount of the loan for real estate repair or replacement. 

What if I decide to relocate? 

You may use your SBA disaster loan to relocate. The amount of the relocation loan depends on whether you relocate voluntarily or involuntarily. If you are interested in relocation, an SBA representative can provide you with more details on your specific situation. 

Are there any insurance requirements for SBA loans?

To protect each borrower and the Agency, SBA may require you to obtain and maintain appropriate insurance. By law, borrowers whose damaged or collateral property is located in a special flood hazard area must purchase and maintain flood insurance. SBA requires that flood insurance coverage be the lesser of 1) the total of the disaster loan, 2) the insurable value of the property, or 3) the maximum insurance available. 

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. 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. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

What about loans other than SBA?

  • North Bay Emergency Relief Loan - Up to $50,000 in loans to pay for obligations and operating expenses, as well as replacement/repair of equipment, inventory, or property. 9% interest rate with no fees and a 6 month payment grace period. Loans are subject to approval. Any business which incurred damage/ economic injury from the fires.
    Working Solutions CDFI:  http://www.workingsolutions.org  
  • Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program - Up to $1 million in loans (85%-95% guarantee by IBANK) to repair or replace property, inventory, supplies, and equipment, or to relocate. Interest rates less than 9%, negotiated with lender. Up to 7 year terms. Small businesses which incurred damage from the wildfires.
    http://nor-calfdc.org    blaine.laney@gmail.com or call:707-803-2102  
  • Jump Start Loan Program - Up to $10,000 in quick microloans for small businesses to meet their obligations and pay their necessary operating expenses, as well as general startup expenses. Interest rates less than 9%. Up to 5 year terms. Small businesses which incurred damage from the wildfires.      
    http://www.ibank.ca.gov/small-business-finance-center
  • Small Business Loan Guarantee Program - Up to $20 million in loans with a maximum loan guarantee of $2,500,000 or up to 80% of loan amount. 0 - 7 year terms. Market rate negotiated between lender and borrower. Small Businesses located in California with 1-750 Employees.
    http://nor-calfdc.org     blaine.laney@gmail.com or call 707-803-2102 

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Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation.