Loans Available in Florida Following Secretary of Agriculture Drought Disaster Declaration for March Freeze
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and private nonprofit organizations located in Baker, Columbia, Hamilton, Madison and Nassau counties Florida as a result of the freeze on March 8 – 23, 2018.
“These counties are eligible because they are contiguous to one or more primary counties in Georgia. The Small Business Administration recognizes that disasters do not usually stop at county or state lines. For that reason, counties adjacent to primary counties named in the declaration are included,” said Kem Fleming, 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 aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers and ranchers.
The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations of all sizes and 3.58 percent for small businesses, with 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. These 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. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at Disasterloan.sba.gov.
Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to email@example.com. Loan applications can be downloaded from Disasterloan.sba.gov. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
Submit completed loan applications to SBA no later than March 4, 2019.