In response to the economic hardships small businesses face due to recent droughts, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to eligible nonfarm businesses in 10 Missouri counties.
The counties eligible for the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) include primary counties Grundy and Livingston and neighboring counties Caldwell, Carroll, Chariton, Daviess, Harrison, Linn, Mercer, and Sullivan. The initiative aims to offset the economic impact of reduced revenues on businesses dependent on farming and ranching and those directly affected by the disaster.
SBA’s Director of Disaster Field Operations Center-West, Tanya N. Garfield, clarified that these loans are designed to assist small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations of any size. The loans, which offer up to $2 million, are intended to cover financial obligations and operating expenses that businesses could have met if the disaster had not occurred.
Garfield emphasized, “Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage.” Notably, the loans carry an interest rate of 4 percent for businesses and 2.375 percent for private nonprofit organizations and can be repaid over a maximum term of 30 years.
The loans are designed to assist small businesses and private nonprofits that lack the financial capacity to manage the adverse impact of the drought without undue hardship. The SBA makes these loans available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture declares an agricultural disaster, as was done for this drought on July 31.
However, businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. They should contact the Farm Services Agency regarding U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration. That said, nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance in drought disasters.
Applications for the loans can be made online at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/, and additional information can be obtained by calling SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or emailing [email protected].
The drought has undoubtedly posed serious challenges to small businesses in the affected counties. The availability of these Economic Injury Disaster Loans represents an essential lifeline for businesses needing financial assistance to sustain their operations and navigate these uncertain times.
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