Small businesses affected by this summer’s wildfires in Southwest Oregon could be eligible for low-interest federal disaster loans.
The loans, which are being made though the U.S. Small Business Administration, are meant to provide working capital for businesses that are no longer able to meet normal overhead expenses because of the fires.
The loans can be up to a 30-year term with interest rates of 4 percent for small businesses - and just under 3 percent for private non-profits.
Debbie Thomason says she’ll be applying for a business loan. Thomason owns the Galice Resort, which offers tours and accommodations on the lower Rogue River.
August and September are usually her busiest months. But she says business is down 85 percent since the fires began.
“Because I am a seasonal business, I have 6 months to make the money to pay the bills 12 months out the year,” said Thomason.
Thomason says she’s had to dip into her retirement savings to keep things going. Still, she’s optimistic. The smoke is gone. And there are still a few weeks left in the resort’s rafting season.