November 2, 2001

Border Business Affected by 9-11 Terrorist Attacks May Now Apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan

Due to the unique and far-reaching economic impact of the September 11 tragic attacks, World Trade Center destruction, Pentagon damage, and resulting Federal actions, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has extended eligibility for SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program nationwide. This unprecedented step expands EIDL beyond the traditional jurisdiction of where the attacks occurred, and has made these loans available to impacted small businesses in San Diego and throughout the entire United States.

SBA's nationwide expansion of its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program represents a major change in SBA's Disaster Loan Program. Until this expansion, only firms located in communities declared disaster areas by the President were eligible for SBA disaster loans. These areas included New York City and adjacent counties in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts; Arlington County and adjacent counties in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

On October 22, SBA published regulations authorizing EIDL expansion across the country to eligible small businesses that have suffered substantial economic injury as a direct result of these September 11 attacks or Federal actions taken directly after the attacks. EIDLs will provide eligible firms with the working capital needed to pay ordinary and necessary operating expenses that they would have been able to pay had the disaster not occurred.

· Loan application deadline is January 21, 2002.

· Loans can be up to $1.5 million, interest rate 4%, terms up to 30 years

"As a result of the events of September 11, President Bush recognized the need to help businesses beyond the immediate disaster area," said SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto.

"I've heard from small business owners all over the country who have suffered losses. The President believes that the wider availability of these loans will provide the necessary capital small businesses need in a quick and efficient manner," said Barreto. "With the expansion of SBA's economic injury disaster loan program, small businesses across the country can receive help."

The impact in San Diego and other American border areas has been particularly broad. For example, with the increased border security measures imposed since September 11, the time it takes to transit from Tijuana into San Diego Mexico has increased substantially. "This increased transit time is discouraging many Mexicans from visiting San Diego to shop, is impacting border area businesses in San Ysidro and elsewhere, ," said SBA San Diego District Director George Chandler.

"We are told that of some firm' sales have fallen over 50% of normal levels. This situation probably exists all along the US/Mexico border from California to Texas. Expanding SBA's Economic Injury Economic Injury Disaster Loans nationwide, with its 4% interest rate and 30 year maximum term, should benefit impacted San Diego businesses."

Small businesses may apply if they have suffered substantial economic injury in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks or related government action. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that otherwise could have been paid had the disaster or government action not occurred. SBA determines the amount of economic injury, loan term and payment amount, based on each borrower's financial circumstances.

California small businesses that want to apply for the EIDL loan can contact SBA's Disaster Area 4 Offices to obtain an application. Below is SBA's Disaster Area 4 Offices phone number, and the states it serves: SBA Disaster Area 4 Office Address: Sacramento, CA 95853-4795 Phone: 1-800-488-5323

To find out more about the SBA's disaster assistance program visit the web site at www.sba.gov/disaster.

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