Colo. flood recovery: SBA granted $110 million in loans

Photo: Flood damage Boulder CountyBusinesses and homeowners hit by the massive flooding along the Front Range a year ago got nearly $110 million in loans from the Small Business Administration in the past year.

In the past year the SBA approved more than 2,500 low-interest disaster assistance loans for Colorado businesses, homeowners, and renters hit by flood waters.

The disaster assistance loans are long-term and meant to help people who didn’t have insurance or didn’t get everything covered.

SBA regional administrator Matt Varilek says the anniversary of the floods is a good time to remind small businesses to try to prepare for a disaster.

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"If you’re a sole proprietor for example, that means you’re everything from the CEO, to the accountant, to everything in between," Varilek says. "You don’t have a risk management officer so you probably haven’t spent a whole lot of time focused on disaster preparedness."

He says some steps include reviewing insurance coverage, creating a crisis communications plan, and coming up with ways to keep a business running even if the building is in, is destroyed.

Varilek says sometimes insurance won’t cover everything, so the loans helped some businesses reopen. The SBA says in general, a quarter of businesses that close because of a disaster never reopen.