SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Darryl Hairston, acting administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, today announced that the SBA is making low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans available to small businesses economically hurt by severe winter storms in Oregon that occurred from Dec. 14 through Jan. 4.

The declaration covers the primary Oregon counties of Columbia, Hood River, Multnomah and Washington as well as the neighboring counties of Clackamas, Clatsop, Tillamook, Wasco and Yamhill in Oregon and Clark, Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skamania and Wahkiakum in Washington.

SBA's disaster declaration immediately make low-interest disaster loans available to help small businesses and most private, nonprofit organizations meet financial needs caused by the disaster.

Hairston's action responded to a request received Feb. 6, from Gov. Ted Kulongoski. Alfred E. Judd, director of SBA's Disaster Field Operations Center - West, said SBA acted under its own authority to declare this disaster.

SBA is offering working capital loans of up to $2 million at an interest rate of 4 percent with terms up to 30 years. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can't be paid because of the disaster's impact.

SBA is opening a Disaster Loan Outreach Center where SBA customer service representatives will be available to meet individually with each business owner to explain how an SBA disaster loan can help finance their recovery. The SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center will be at the Gateway Children's Center Service Building, 10317 E. Burnside St. in Portland. It opens Tuesday, and will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until closing March 4 at 6 p.m.

Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA's secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained from SBA's Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, e-mailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visiting SBA's Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance. Hearing impaired individuals may call (800) 877-8339.

The deadline to apply for these loans is Nov. 12.

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