These loans are to offset economic losses because of reduced revenues to farmers and ranchers caused by the drought that began July 16, 2013, in the following primary counties, announced Tanya N. Garfield, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center - West.
Primary Arkansas counties: Arkansas, Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Chicot, Cleveland, Columbia, Dallas, Desha, Drew, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lincoln, Miller, Ouachita and Union;
Neighboring Arkansas counties: Clark, Grant, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Little River, Lonoke, Monroe, Nevada, Phillips, Prairie and Pulaski;
Neighboring Louisiana parishes: Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, East Carroll, Morehouse, Union, Webster and West Carroll;
Neighboring Texas counties: Bowie and Cass.
Garfield said, "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."
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 which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.
Garfield said, "Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 4% for businesses and 2.875% 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."
Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about the U. S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration. However, in drought disasters nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure Web site at <https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela>.
For owners of these impacted small businesses, disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling toll-free at (800) 659-2955 or e-mailing <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339. For more information about SBA’s disaster assistance programs, visit <http://www.sba.gov/disaster>.
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