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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Federal Economic Injury Declaration opens loans for fire-ravaged small businesses in White Center

Summary

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) made a declaration of an Economic Injury Disaster this week, opening a loan application process for businesses and organizations that suffered “substantial economic injury” from the recent fire on July 5, 2021 in White Center. King County will support affected businesses and seek out more options for other fire victims.

Story

With multiple devastating fires in the core of White Center this summer, the U.S. Small Business Administration has declared an Economic Injury Disaster, opening the door for businesses to apply for loans to help rebuild the local economy.

Local businesses and organizations impacted by the July 5 fire in White Center can now apply for low-interest loans of up to $2 million if they have suffered from “substantial economic injury.” The federal government defines substantial economic injury based on whether a business is unable to meet its obligations and pay its ordinary and necessary operating expenses.

The Economic Injury Disaster Declaration is one of the steps to recovery that Executive Constantine shared with businesses and residents during a virtual community meeting last week.

“We are thankful for the federal government declaring an Economic Injury Disaster for White Center, helping open the door to much needed aid,” Executive Constantine said. “King County is doing everything we can to help the families and businesses rebuild, get back on their feet, and start a new chapter in White Center.”

The program provides the necessary working capital to help small businesses impacted by a disaster survive until normal operations resume. It is available only to small businesses when the SBA determines they are unable to obtain credit elsewhere and this declaration will only help those affected by the July 5 fire at this time.

King County Local Services and Office of Emergency Management will move quickly to reach out to affected businesses and organizations of the July 5 fire to help any interested to apply for the loans. King County is seeking out additional relief for victims affected by other fire events in White Center.

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.

The deadline to apply for economic injury is July 26, 2022.

The Washington Small Business Development Center is also offering free, personalized counseling to help affected businesses in their recovery. Businesses may contact the Washington SBDC office by emailing washington@wsbdc.org, calling (833) 492-7232, or visiting their website at https://www.wsbdc.org.

Prior to this declaration, Local Services, working with the Executive’s Office, has helped channel nearly $108,000 in small business grant money directly to fire-affected businesses. County staff has been on-site during every fire response and coordinates biweekly meetings with agencies that serve the area. Members of the King County Conservation Corps have also been assigned to the commercial core to pick up litter.


Relevant links


Quotes

We are thankful for the federal government declaring an Economic Injury Disaster for White Center, helping open the door to much needed aid. King County is doing everything we can to help the families and businesses rebuild, get back on their feet, and start a new chapter in White Center.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

Our goal is to work closely with the local, state, and federal governments to get help to those who need it as they recover from disasters.

Brendan McCluskey, Director, King County Emergency Management

We will continue to work with the businesses of White Center to provide any assistance we can. This loan program will be beneficial to those businesses that need it as we also seek other options that may help the community and businesses of White Center.

John Taylor, Director, King County Local Services

For more information, contact:

Brent Champaco, Local Services, 206-477-9094


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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