ATLANTA, GA – January 26, 2012 – The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding small businesses that February 24 is the filing deadline for federal economic injury disaster loans available in Hampton and Jasper counties in South Carolina as a result of drought that began on December 15, 2010.
Thesecounties are eligible because they are contiguous to one or moreprimary counties in Georgia. The Small Business Administrationrecognizes that disasters do not usually stop at county or state lines. For that reason, counties adjacent to primary counties named in thedeclaration are included, said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.
Whenthe Secretary of Agriculture issues a disaster declaration to helpfarmers recover from damages and losses to crops, the Small BusinessAdministration issues a declaration to eligible entities affected by thesame disaster, said Skaggs.
Underthis declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program isavailable to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities thatsuffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. Exceptfor aquaculture enterprises, agricultural producers, farmers andranchers are not eligible to apply to SBA, but nurseries are eligible toapply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by droughtconditions.
The loan amount can be up to $2 million with a 4 percent interest rate for eligible small businesses and 3percent for non-profit organizations with terms up to 30 years. The SBAdetermines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type ofactivity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set bythe SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. Theseworking capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accountspayable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster notoccurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.
Disasterloan information and application forms may be obtained by calling theSBA’s Customer Service Center 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deafand hard of hearing) or by sending an e-mail to [email protected]. Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at www.sba.gov.Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small BusinessAdministration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 KingsportRoad, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than February 24, 2012.