The closure of the 2008 salmon fishing season has made SLO County one of several California counties declared a disaster area by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
In response to the declaration, the SBA announced it is offering economic injury disaster loans through March 2009 to small businesses impacted by the closure. Many local businesses that rely on salmon season have been negatively affected by the closure, but some are not aware of the loans.
“It’s been painful for us. Having the equipment available but not being able to make money with it is frustrating,” said Darby Neil, owner of Virg’s Landing, a sport fishing charter business in Morro Bay. Neil said he was unaware of the loans.
Businesses who have been impacted by the closure can contact the SBA for more information on disaster loans. Applications are examined on an individual basis, but applicants who are able to demonstrate financial losses resulting from the salmon closure are eligible for up to $2 million for up to 30 years, according to the SBA.