Businesses interested in federal assistance after the Western Excelsior mill fire have until Friday to turn in worksheets from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
On July 11, after both Mancos and Montezuma County declared the fire an economic emergency, Montezuma County Emergency Manager Paul Hollar handed out SBA worksheets to businesses in the area to show how they were affected. If five local businesses return the worksheets to Hollar on time, the county’s emergency declaration and request for federal funds will go on to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office for approval. If the request is approved at the state and federal levels, affected businesses throughout Montezuma County will be eligible for economic injury disaster loans.
On Tuesday, Hollar said he had only received one worksheet, but he planned to follow up with all the people who attended the July 11 meeting by the end of the week.
“I think we’ll have enough interest to get it through,” he said.
In the meantime, several local organizations, including Mancos FoodShare and Mancos Pay It Forward, have offered help to families affected by the fire, and the town has hosted several fundraisers for them.