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SBA disaster loans available

POSTED: November 11, 2008 5:00 a.m.

ATLANTA — The U.S. Small Business Administration announces 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 the state of Georgia as a result of drought and excessive heat that occurred on Jan. 1, 2008, and continuing.

These loans are available in the following counties: Burke, Chatham, Columbia, Effingham, Elbert, Franklin, Habersham, Hart, Lincoln, Rabun, Richmond, Screven and Stephens.

“These counties are eligible because they are contiguous to one or more primary counties in the state of South Carolina. The Small Business Administration recognizes that disasters do not usually stop at county or state lines,” according to Frank Skaggs, director of SBA Field Operations Center East.

“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 assist small businesses and most private, non-profit organizations affected by the same disaster,” said Skaggs.

Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to farm-related and nonfarm-related small business concerns, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. Farmers and ranchers are not eligible to apply to SBA, but nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by drought conditions.

Eligible small businesses and non-profit organizations may qualify for loans up to $2 million. These loans are available at a 4 percent interest rate with loan 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. Under this disaster declaration, the SBA cannot provide loans to agricultural producers.

Disaster victims should contact the SBA’s customer service center by calling 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. or by emailing the customer service center at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Rd., Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Victims may visit SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ to apply for disaster loans.
Completed applications must be returned to SBA no later than March 15, 2009.

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