Four Corners Business Briefs: SBA offers 416 fire recovery loans to affected businesses

The Daily Times Staff
Traffic was light, as was foot traffic on usually-bustling Main Avenue at noon on Fathers Day 2018 in downtown Durango, Colorado, as light rain turned to welcome drizzle in the 416 Fire zone.

SBA money available to businesses impacted by 416 Fire

Businesses in several Colorado counties and in San Juan County, New Mexico, may apply for federal disaster assistance if their businesses were impacted due to the 416 Fire that raged near Durango, Colorado, for two months this summer.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Archuleta, Dolores, Hinsdale, La Plata, Montezuma, Ouray, San Juan and San Miguel counties in Colorado; and San Juan County in New Mexico. Eligibility is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage, the release said.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses economically impacted by fire, which started June 1 and was contained July 31, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon announced Friday in a press release.

The fire burned in Colorado’s La Plata and San Juan counties. Smoke impacted residents in New Mexico’s San Juan County. Some businesses were evacuated in Colorado’s La Plata and San Juan counties. The region was affected by major road closures and the cessation of a rail service from Silverton, Colorado, that brought tourists to the region. The Purgatory Mountain ski resort was also closed during much of the fire.

SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster following a request received from Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Aug. 17, the release said.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist Colorado’s small businesses with federal disaster loans. We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of this disaster,” said Administrator McMahon.

A business owner's sign on Main Avenue in downtown Durango, Colorado,  in June thanked firefighters who were battling the 416 and Burro fires.

“Small, nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said Director Tanya N. Garfield of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

“These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing,” Garfield added.

The Colorado Small Business Development Center is offering free, personalized counseling to help affected businesses in their recovery. Businesses may contact Hannah Birdsong by calling (970) 247 7009 or by visiting the SBDC office 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at Fort Lewis College’s Education and Business Building, Room 140, 1000 Rim Drive in Durango.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at or call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955, or email for more information. Deaf or hard-of-hearing people may call (800) 877-8339.

The deadline to apply for economic injury is May 24, 2019.

Furniture chain donates truckload of beds to charity for kids

American Home Furniture & Mattress and Tempur-Pedic will donate 128 new twin mattresses — an entire semi-trailer load — valued at more than $200,000 to the Albuquerque-based nonprofit organization Beds4Kidz.

Beds4Kidz is a charity that gives beds to New Mexico families in need. The organization said its donations have helped 5,000 people get free, clean, comfortable beds. Their motto is “No More Sleeping on the Floor.”

“Something as simple as a bed of their own to sleep in can immediately change a child’s life” Beds4kidz board member Kelli Lee said in a press release. “Better sleep means better health, a positive self-image and a much higher rate of success in school. We’re thrilled with this amazing donation!”

“We are pleased to partner with Tempur-Pedic and contribute to Beds4kidz,” American Home Furniture CEO Kenton Van Harten said in the same release. “It is so important to support community issues and organizations, to help make our state stronger. Good sleep is essential, and we believe our donations will make a difference in the lives of New Mexico children and families.“

The mattresses will be delivered Wednesday to the Beds4Kidz warehouse. Beds4Kidz volunteers and board members will unload the cargo.

The charity is part of the UpB4theSon ministries, and you don’t have to own a business to donate a bed. Go to to learn more about this charity.

SJRMC to host Cortez Career Fair

Talk about reaching out. The San Juan Regional Medical Center will recruit across the state line when it hosts a career fair in Cortez, Colorado, for a variety of health-care positions. The event takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Hampton Inn in Cortez.

“If you’re a compassionate caregiver looking for an exciting career at a nonprofit community hospital that offers competitive pay with excellent benefits, you won’t want to miss this opportunity,” the hospital said in a press release.

Career opportunities include EMS, nursing services, support services and professional services.