Businesses hurt by Eagle Creek Fire can now get loans

Loans can be had for up to 30 years interest rates ranging from 2.5 to 3.3%

Small businesses in the Gorge affected by the Eagle Creek Fire expressed their concerns to Gov. Kate Brown (KOIN)
Small businesses in the Gorge affected by the Eagle Creek Fire expressed their concerns to Gov. Kate Brown (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Hood River County businesses affected by the Eagle Creek Fire can now apply for “favorable” federal loans.

The impact on the community was and continues to be significant for businesses in the Columbia River Gorge. Fourteen small business say they lost more than $2,000 in profit in the span of 3 weeks.

The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday businesses looking to recover from lost revenue can get loans up to 30 years with interest rates ranging from 2.5 to 3.3%. The applications, sent to the Federal Small Business Administration, will be accepted through next summer.

Businesses and non-profits from Hood River, Multnomah, Wasco and adjacent counties are eligible.

Gov. Kate Brown listens to concerns by small businesses in the Gorge during a hearing on Sept. 29, 2017 (KOIN).

The program, according to the sheriff’s office, was activated after Gov. Kate Brown wrote a letter to the SBA seeking a loan program.

“Obviously a lot of people out of work for the last several weeks,” Brown told KOIN 6 News on Sept. 29. “Our goal is to make sure that this community and this region has the tools and resources it needs to recover and rebuild. It’s a very resilient community; I’m confident it’ll survive.”

Jill Buck, the vice president of the Multnomah Falls Company, said the fire greatly affected both the businesses and their employees. She said they had to lay off the majority of their employees.

“They have house payments to pay and children to feed,” Buck said. “Many of them have been with us for decade, so that’s just been a huge hardship for us, too.”

Applications can be downloaded here. Applicants can also call the SBA’s customer service center at 800.659.2955 or email: disastercustomerservice@sba.gov