Biden “called and offered his support for the people of Colorado” and said the major disaster declaration will be finalized in a matter of hours, Polis said.
Gov. Jared Polis, during a press conference Friday, confirmed the declaration, which opens the spigot of federal assistance to homeowners and businesses impacted by the blaze.
Such a declaration “provides a wide range of federal assistance programs for individuals and public infrastructure, including funds for both emergency and permanent work,” according to a U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency fact sheet.
“What that means is that those who have suffered a loss — small businesses and homeowners — won’t have to wait for a preliminary damage assessment for housing and small-business assistance,” he said.
Additionally, businesses in the disaster area may be eligible for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan if it can be proved that the company suffered economic injury as a result of the disaster.
“Any business or private, nonprofit organization that is located in a declared disaster area and has incurred damage during the disaster may apply for a loan to help replace damaged property or restore it to the condition it was in before the disaster,” according to FEMA. “If your business or private, nonprofit organization — large or small — has suffered physical damage as a result of a disaster, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration. SBA makes physical disaster loans of up to $2 million to qualified businesses or private, nonprofit organizations.”
“Substantial economic injury is the inability of a business to meet its obligations as they mature and to pay its ordinary and necessary operating expenses,” according to FEMA. “EIDLs provide the necessary working capital to help small businesses survive until normal operations resume after a disaster.”
Businesses can apply directly to the SBA for assistance.
Local leaders and the region’s congressional representatives thanked Biden on Friday for his rapid response to the Marshall Fire. The major disaster declaration “will be critical in bringing federal resources to Boulder County,” U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet said.
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