Small Business Loan Program Helping Open New Roads for Victims – CBS Denver
SUPERIOR, Colorado (CBS4) – Hundreds of families and dozens of businesses are taking advantage of a federally backed loan program that could help Marshall Fire victims recover from the historic blaze faster than previously thought. Thanks to low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration, many fire victims are already preparing for a burn scar return.
With interest rates currently between 2.83% and 5.66%, many business owners in the Marshall Fire area are now eligible for federal assistance. Depending on the qualifications, some could receive tens of thousands of dollars for reconstruction or other financial implications caused by the fire.
For Superior’s Fearless Motion Dance Center, securing such a loan could ensure that young children are still able to rediscover their passion for dance while the surrounding community heals from the fire. The business, owned by Callie and Brianna Frey, is located in the center of the historic burn scar.
“We were evacuated from our building when the fire broke out. It was probably one of the scariest situations we’ve faced to date,” Callie told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas. we evacuated, we thought our building was going to disappear.”
Several businesses and homes surrounding the dance studio were destroyed by the fire. Others, like the Target and Costco, with which they share a parking lot, were damaged by the fire.
However, when the Freys returned to check on their studio, they found the building still fully intact, with no fire damage. However, it was still clearly filled with smoke and other sediment that had been in the air during the fire.
“There was a sense of relief, but immediately it turned into ‘oh my god, how long are we going to be out of our building now? “, Callie said.
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Fortunately, for the dance studio, a thorough cleaning can solve almost any problem caused by the fire. However, some materials inside the studio may need to be replaced due to toxins spread by ash and smoke.
After barely two years of surviving the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses, the Fearless Motion Dace Center is counting on steady business to stay afloat. Some clients have lost their homes. Because the studio was closed in the aftermath of the fire, the owners were unable to collect regular dues and more.
Due to the potential financial strain on their business, Callie and Brianna visited the Disaster Assistance Center in Lafayette to explore financial assistance options. There, they were able to meet with the SBA to apply for a low-interest loan. The loan could help pay for the replacement of damaged items as well as the deep cleaning of the facility.
When CBS4 visited the dance studio, dozens of workers were inside cleaning the building. Ceiling tiles were removed and cleaned one by one.
“We clean our facility from top to bottom, making sure every crack and crevice is completely smoke-free from our space,” Callie said.
The ability to hurry and clean their facilities thoroughly could significantly help the company recover quickly from the fire.
“We are focused on helping businesses that have been impacted by the Marshall Fire. They can come and expedite their application in person,” said SBA spokesman Rick Tillery. “These are low-interest loans guaranteed by the federal government. They are there to help you get back on your feet.
More than 57 businesses have already applied for loans through the SBA. Another 101 families have applied for loans for their homes and over $17 million has already been distributed.
“It’s nice to know we’re not alone going through this, and there are so many different ways to get relief and help when needed,” Callie said.
If you or someone you know needs a loan for financial assistance due to the fire, you can come to DAC in Lafayette during regular business hours, seven days a week.