The U.S. Small Business Administration announced recently that federal disaster loans are available to small businesses and small agricultural cooperatives located in all Georgia counties as a result of damages and losses to crops caused by drought that began Jan. 1.
“SBA’s disaster declaration was issued as a result of a similar action taken by the Secretary of Agriculture to help farmers recover from damages and losses to crops,” said Frank Skaggs, Director of SBA Field Operations Center East.
Under this declaration, SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to farm-related and nonfarm-related small business concerns and small agricultural cooperatives that suffered economic injury 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 small agricultural cooperatives may qualify for loans up to $1.5 million. These loans are available at a 4 percent interest rate with loan terms up to 30 years. SBA determines eligibility for the program based on the size and type of business and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based upon each applicant's financial condition. Under this disaster declaration, SBA cannot provide loans to agricultural producers.
Interested business owners should contact 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 from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.