Small Business Administration opens loan office in Mount Vernon to help businesses affected by Skagit Bridge collapse
Following a request last week by Gov. Jay Inslee, the U.S. Small Business Administration opened a disaster loan office in Mount Vernon to help businesses suffering financial losses due to the I-5 Skagit River Bridge collapse.
“Our priority is ensuring our businesses succeed in the wake of this difficult disruption,” Inslee said. “I thank the SBA for its speedy response to my request. The low-interest loans now available will help business owners pay their utility bills, meet payroll obligations, and keep their doors open. And with a temporary span now in place over the Skagit River, shoppers and tourists have every reason to visit Skagit Valley.”
The governor last week asked the SBA to make its Economic Injury Disaster Loan program available after providing evidence that at least five businesses in Skagit County demonstrated substantial economic injury as a result of the May 23 collapse.
The SBA loan office is located at the Economic Development Association of Skagit County (EDASC), and has two loan officers available Monday through Friday to help business owners process loan applications. The program provides low-interest loans to eligible small businesses that have suffered substantial economic injury, regardless of physical damage. Loans provide operating expenses until a business recovers.
Inslee’s request for SBA assistance is among efforts underway to assist the communities impacted by the bridge collapse. The governor also made $150,000 available from the state Department of Commerce to help local communities launch a summer marketing campaign.
The Washington Department of Transportation recently reopened the bridge with a temporary span. Information on the bridge and plans for a permanent replacement can be found on WSDOT’s website at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I5/SkagitRiverBridgeReplacement/default.htm.