SBA offers non-farmdrought disaster loans

Small, nonfarm businesses in Marion County and 16 other counties in Kansas are now eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration.

The loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the drought that began April 29 of this year.

The program has identified five primary counties: Butler, Harvey, Kingman, Reno and Sedgwick.

Marion County is one of 11 neighboring counties identified. The others are Barber, Chase, Cowley, Elk, Greenwood, Harper, McPher?son, Pratt, Rice, Stafford and Sumner.

?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,? said Tanya N. Garfield, director of SBA?s regional operations center.

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 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,? Garfield said.

?These loans have an interest rate of 4 percent for businesses and 2.625 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,? she added.

U. S. Secretary of Agri?culture Tom Vilsack declared this disaster May 7.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about USDA assistance made available by the secretary?s declaration.However, in drought disasters, nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance.

Disaster loan information and application forms also are available from SBA?s customer service center by calling 800-659-2955 or e-mailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The deadline to apply for these loans is Jan. 7, 2015.