Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 25
Community Corner: Drought disaster loans are still available
BY RYAN MILLER
California is dry, which is why the U.S. Small Business Administration is offering loans to small, nonfarm businesses that have endured economic losses because of dwindling deals with farmers and other agriculture workers who themselves are financially struggling through the current drought.
The SBA announced a deadline of Sept. 15, until which eligible businesses in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and 25 other primary counties; eight neighboring California counties; two Arizona counties; and six Nevada counties can apply from 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.”
That disaster is California’s drought conditions as of Jan. 1, 2014. Eligible businesses include small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and many private nonprofit organizations.
The loans have a 4 percent interest rate for businesses and 2.625 percent for nonprofits with a maximum term of 30 years.
“Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance,” reads a release from the administration. “Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency (FSA) about the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration. However, in drought disasters nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance.”
Tanya N. Garfield, director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West, said in the release that “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.”
The SBA accepts online applications via disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.