The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that low-interest federal disaster loans are available to residents and firebpbusiness owners affected by the Center Fire in Big Pine. The SBA has set up a customer service center at Big Pine School to help fire victims.

According to a news release, the SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster in Big Pine following a request received from Governor Jerry Brown’s office at the end of March. As a result, disaster 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.

The SBA also said that businesses of any size and private, non-profit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to homeowners and businesses to help with the cost of making improvements that protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

Interest rates can be as low as 2.563% for homeowners and renters, 3% for private, nonprofit groups and 4% for businesses, with terms up to 30 years.

The Disaster Loan Outreach Center now set up at Big Pine School will operate there Mondays through Fridays, 8am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm. They will have applications and assistance for loans.

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