LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal loans for working capital to small businesses economically impacted by the Aliso Canyon gas leak that began October 23, 2015, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced today. SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster following a request received on February 3, 2016, from Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr.’s designated representative, Mark S. Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, as well as neighboring Kern and Orange counties.

The filing deadline to return economic injury applications is November 8, 2016.

“SBA is committed to supporting those who are working to restore the economic livelihood of the people in Porter Ranch and the surrounding area. As the situation continues to unfold, our agency will be offering low-interest working capital loans to the small business men and women who are being severely impacted by this unusual gas leak,” said Administrator Contreras-Sweet. “SBA representatives will be on hand to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each business owner complete their application.”

“Small, non-farm 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 SBA’s Los Angeles District Director Victor Parker.

“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,” Parker added.

The center is located at 9207 Oakdale Ave., Suite #200, Chatsworth, CA 91311. It will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except when closed from noon to 1 p.m. for lunch. No appointment is necessary.

Eligibility is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 4 percent for small businesses and 2.65 percent for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years, and are restricted to small businesses without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Applicants may apply online using SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. or call (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339.