Federal disaster loans available for small businesses affected by drought

Published: Friday, July 12 2013 12:15 p.m. MDT

Members of FEMA and the Small Business administration look at a burned home in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Monday, July 9, 2012. Members of FEMA, the SBA and Colorado's Disaster Office assessed damages in the area burned by the Waldo Canyon wildfire. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Associated Press

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SALT LAKE CITY — Small, nonfarm businesses in eight Utah counties and neighboring counties in Colorado and Wyoming are now eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

"These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the drought that occurred from May 1 to June 25," announced Alfred E. Judd, director of SBA's Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

The eligible primary Utah counties are Daggett and Summit, while the neighboring Utah counties are Duchesne, Morgan, Rich, Salt Lake, Uintah and Wasatch. The list includes Moffat County in Colorado, and Sweetwater and Uinta counties in Wyoming.

"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," Judd said.

Small, nonfarm businesses; small agricultural cooperatives; small businesses engaged in aquaculture; and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

"Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage," Judd said. "These loans have an interest rate of 4 percent for businesses and 2.875 percent for private, nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most private, nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship."

By law, SBA makes such loans available when the U.S. secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. Secretary Tom Vilsack declared the disaster on July 3, 2013.

Applicants may apply online at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Disaster loan information and application forms are also available by calling SBA toll-free at 800-659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA's website at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call 800-877‑8339. The deadline to apply for these loans is March 3, 2014.

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