The Swan Lake Fire can be seen from above on Aug. 26, 2019 on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Alaska Wildland Fire Information)

The Swan Lake Fire can be seen from above on Aug. 26, 2019 on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Alaska Wildland Fire Information)

Feds offering Swan Lake Fire financial assistance

Those affected by the fire have one more month to apply for a federal disaster loan.

Small business owners in Alaska have one more month to apply for a federal disaster loan if they experienced economic injury from last year’s Swan Lake Fire, according to a Monday press release from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The Swan Lake Fire started on June 5 of 2019 and burned 167,164 acres on the Kenai Peninsula, primarily within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The fire caused multiple shutdowns of the Sterling Highway and produced heavy smoke conditions across the peninsula for most of the summer.

No lives were lost and no structures were destroyed as a result of the Swan Lake Fire, but the highway closures and smoke conditions had a negative economic impact on many small businesses on the peninsula.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid due of the fire’s impact between June 5 and Oct. 2, 2019. The assistance is available to businesses even if no property damage took place.

The interest rate for these loans is 4% for businesses and 2.75% for private nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the Small Business Administration and are based on each applicant’s financial situation.

The loans are available for businesses in the Chugach Rural Education Attendance Area, the Iditarod Area Rural Education Attendance Area, the Kenai Peninsula Borough, the Kodiak Island Borough, the Lake and Peninsula Borough, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and the Municipality of Anchorage.

Business owners can apply online or download an application at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov and can call 800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information.

Those who are deaf or hard of hearing can call 800-877-8339.

Completed applications should be mailed to the following address:

U.S. Small Business Administration

Processing and Disbursement Center

14925 Kingsport Road

Fort Worth, TX 76155

The application deadline is July 8, 2020.

Reach reporter Brian Mazurek at bmazurek@peninsulaclarion.com.

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