MESA COUNTY, Colo.
Traffic continues to flow through Glenwood Canyon on Interstate 70 after multiple mudslide closures weeks ago. Western Slope businesses noted their struggles in a business poll through the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce. President, Diane Schwenke, with the area chamber says, “Out of the 150 plus members that responded, 75% of them saw some sort of an impact to their business as a result of the canyon closure.”
Now, weeks later businesses in six counties including Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, and Routt can apply for federal funds through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and Mesa County is on the list. Director, Julie Morey, with the Small Business Development Center in Grand Junction says, “It’s for any accounts payable, it’s to meet payroll, it’s to meet any fixed debt payments as well.”
Loans have an interest rate of 2.855% for small businesses and 2% for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years, according to a state news release on Friday, September, 17. Eligibility is based on the financial impact of the disaster only, and not on property damage. Assistance is only available to businesses when the small business administration determines the business can’t get credit elsewhere. “It has to directly be something that was attributed to the closure of I-70,” said Morey.
The mission of the Business Incubator Center is to support the success of Mesa County businesses including those facing financial impacts caused by the mudslide disaster, and for those curious about receiving emergency aid that will help keep business doors open, the business center is offering support services for free. Morey says, “We provide free business coaching services to Mesa County and Rio Blanco county residents, and it can be on loan topics, and it can be on any other type of business launch, growth, and development topic as well.”
A business may qualify for both an EIDL loan and a physical disaster loan for a max amount of $2 million, and the deadline to apply is June 16, 2022, according to the state. Schwenke says, “If you are a business and you’re struggling, it’s better to look at fairly cheap money to get you over this period.”
For more information on applying for a disaster loan, or additional disaster assistance information, click here.