Small, non-farm businesses in all 254 Texas counties and neighboring counties in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma may now apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA). "These disaster loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by drought, excessive heat, high winds and wildfires that began January 1, 2011 in Texas," announced Alfred E. Judd, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West.
Primary and neighboring Texas counties: All 254 Texas counties;
Neighboring Arkansas counties: Little River and Miller;
Neighboring Louisiana parishes: Beauregard, Caddo, Calcasieu, Cameron, DeSoto, Sabine and Vernon;
Neighboring New Mexico counties: Curry, Dona Ana, Eddy, Lea, Otero, Quay, Roosevelt and Union;
Neighboring Oklahoma counties: Beaver, Beckham, Bryan, Choctaw, Cimarron, Cotton, Ellis, Harmon, Jackson, Jefferson, Love, McCurtain, Roger Mills, Texas and Tillman.
"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, non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which 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. These loans have an interest rate of 4% for businesses and 3% for private, 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," Judd said.
By law, SBA makes EIDLs available when the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. Secretary Tom Vilsack declared this disaster at the request of Governor Rick Perry.
Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency (FSA) about the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration. However, in drought disasters nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance.
Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
Information and application forms are available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance. Hearing impaired individuals may call (800) 877-8339.
The deadline to apply for these loans is February 24, 2012.
For more information, visit SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov.
SBA Field Operations Center - West, P.O. Box 419004, Sacramento, CA 95841