Sierra Wave Media

Eastern Sierra News for June 21, 2024





Inyo County residents, businesses, and non-profits that sustained damage and/or loss during the severe early 2023 storms may now be eligible for disaster assistance loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Earlier this year, President Biden issued a major disaster declaration in response to the severe winter storms, straight-line winds, flooding, landslides and mudslides that have been ongoing in California since Feb. 21, 2023. An amended version of that declaration on May 2 subsequently added Mono County as a “Primary County” in terms of disaster assistance availability, whichis extended to any contiguous counties. Inyo County’s shared borders with Mono have thus opened up SBA disaster loans as an avenue for disaster relief for residents and businesses in Inyo County.

Following are the specific loans available:

  • Business Physical Disaster Loans – Loans of up to $2 million 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 of up to $2 million to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit 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. There are no upfront fees or early payment penalties charged by SBA. The loan term is ability to repay.
  • Home Disaster Loans – Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property, which includes their disaster damaged personal vehicles.Interest rates can be as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.375 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 2.375 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.The deadline to apply for physical damage aid is June 5, 2023. Economic Injury loans are due by January 3, 2024.
  • There is no cost or obligation, and eligibility is based on a case-by-case review for each applicant.

    To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, survivors must first contact FEMA at Federal-State Disaster Recovery Centers are now open in Mono County for one-on-one assistance from the SBA:

    Bridgeport Memorial Hall
    73 N. School St.
    Bridgeport, CA 93517
    Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

    Mammoth Lakes Civic Center
    1290 Tavern Rd.
    Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
    Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

    President Biden’s declaration also made impacted counties like Inyo and Mono eligible for Public Assistance program under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which reimburses local and state government agencies for the costs of emergency response, debris removal, and restoration of disaster-damaged public facilities and infrastructure. The program also encourages protection of these damaged facilities from future events by providing assistance for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process. The federal cost share for Public Assistance projects is 75 percent with 25 percent covered by the state or local governments.

    Inyo County is still working to obtain Individual Assistance through FEMA. The Inyo County Office of Emergency Services urges residents to complete its damage survey available at kJzxuyJMgpE3nCtHkZlUQ0JJVUFHMTRIQUtWMzVISVI1TU1FSURPVi4u&wdLOR=c4E23A87F-B7E8-4058-A169-0026EF3612F1 or by scanning the QR Code below.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Emergency Services Manager Mikaela Torres, (760) 878-0120