The U.S. Small Business Administration announces today that federal economic injury disaster loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes located in Florida as a result of the drought that began on June 1, 2010.
The SBA’s disaster declaration includes the following counties: Alachua, Bay, Brevard, Calhoun, Columbia, Dixie, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Glades, Gulf, Hamilton, Hendry, Holmes, Indian River, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Martin, Okeechobee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Saint Lucie, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton and Washington.
“When the Secretary of Agriculture issues a disaster declaration to help farmers recover from damages and losses to crops, the Small Business Administration issues a declaration to eligible entities affected by the same disaster,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East.
Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster.
With the exception of aquacultural enterprises, farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers are not eligible to apply to SBA. Nurseries are only eligible to apply in drought declarations.
The loan amount can be up to $2 million with a 3 percent interest for non-profit organizations, 4 percent for small businesses and terms up to 30 years.
The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. T
hese working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred.
These loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.
Disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the hearing-impaired) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
Those affected by the disaster may apply for disaster loans from SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than September 26, 2011.
For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Programs, visit our website at www.sba.gov