Disaster loans available for local businesses hurt by high winds, rain, frosts and freezes

The U.S. Small Business Administration recently announced that San Juan County businesses are now eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans.

The loans can offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by excessive rain, frosts, freezes, unseasonably cold weather and high winds since April 2010.

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, said Alfred E. Judd, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center, West.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Service Agency (FSA) about the U. S. Department of Agriculture assistance.

Small, non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit 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.

By law, SBA makes EIDLs available when the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster.

The loans have an interest rate of 4 percent for businesses and 3 percent for non-profit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most private, non-profits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Information and application forms are available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance. Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

The deadline to apply for these loans is Sept. 12.