Small, nonfarm businesses in California, and neighboring counties in Arizona and Oregon, are eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, according to a press release. 

These loans aim to offset losses because of reduced revenues caused by drought in primary counties that began Oct. 1, 2020. Glenn, Colusa and Tehama counties are included in the primary California counties, according to the press release. 

“SBA eligibility covers both 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 Director Tanya Garfield of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center – West. 

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, according to the press release. 

“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 3 percent for businesses and 2.75 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,” Garfield said.

By law, SBA makes Economic Injury Disaster Loans available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster – the secretary declared this disaster on March 5. 

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance, according to the press release. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about the U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the secretaries declaration – nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance in drought disasters. 

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at www.disasterloanassistance.sba.gov. Applicants can also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

The deadline to apply is Nov. 5, 2021.

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