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Agriculture Today

Businesses eligible for low-interest loan

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March 28, 2012 | 4,322 views | Post a comment

Small, nonfarm businesses in 131 Texas counties, including Wilson and Bexar counties, are now eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). “These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by drought, excessive heat, high winds, and wildfires that occurred in 40 primary Texas counties beginning January 1, 2011,” announced Alfred E. Judd, director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

Neighboring Texas counties of Atascosa, Gonzales, Guadalupe, and Karnes counties are also eligible to apply.

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” Judd said.

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.

“Eligibility for these loans 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 businesses and 3 percent for private, nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most private nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship,” Judd said.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance made available by the Secretary of Agriculture’s declaration. However, in drought disasters, nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling SBA toll-free at 1-800-659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call 1-800-877 8339.

The deadline to apply for these loans is Tuesday, Sept. 4.

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