Businesses Affected By Gas Leak Can Receive Federal Relief
Washington DC – Following urging from Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks), the Small Business Administration (SBA) made businesses near Porter Ranch eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. The natural gas leak in the Aliso Canyon storage facility, run by the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), is the largest known gas leak in U.S. history, displacing over 4,000 families and hurting local businesses.
The SBA can now provide loans on favorable terms to businesses that incurred economic losses as a result of the leak. These unsecured loans may have terms up to 30 years, with interest rates below 4 percent, designed to cover operational expenses.
“SoCalGas should be solely responsible for the costs associated with this leak, but I am glad to see that federal assistance is immediately available to the affected businesses,” said Congressman Sherman. “The SBA can now help alleviate some of the financial hardship with loans on favorable terms. Retail establishments and home-based businesses alike are suffering because of the leak. I have talked to several residents who were forced to shut down their home-based business as a result of the leak.”
“I believe that many businesses have suffered substantial economic harm. Any business may have difficulty meeting its obligations when its customers disappear as a result of an environmental health disaster. This is especially the case when those businesses were already struggling before the leak.”
“I want to thank the Valley Economic Development Center (VEDC) for their leadership identifying businesses in need of assistance.”
Those businesses affected by the gas leak and seeking loans on favorable terms can contact my office at (818) 501-9200.