Small, non-farm businesses in Contra Costa County are now eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
According to Alfred E. Judd, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West, “SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the (winter freeze) disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster.”
Small, non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that 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,” said Judd. “These loans have an interest rate of 4 percent for businesses and 3 percent 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.”
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 Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
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 assistance made available by the secretary’s declaration.
Information and application forms are available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling 800-659 2955, e-mailing email@example.com or visiting www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance. Hearing impaired individuals may call 800-877-8339. Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
The deadline to apply for these loans is Nov. 9, 2011. For more information, visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.