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Central Virginians hit hard by ongoing drought eligible for disaster loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available in Virginia for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations with economic losses due to the ongoing severe drought.

The declaration includes Albemarle, Amherst, Nelson and Rockbridge counties, and other nearby areas including Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell counties, and the city of Lynchburg.

“Working capital loans from the SBA are essential to eligible small businesses when the Secretary of Agriculture declares a disaster due to farmers’ crop losses,” Francisco Sanchez Jr., associate administrator of the Office of Disaster Recovery & Resilience, said in a statement. “These loans help sustain rural economies when a disaster occurs.”

Under this declaration, the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of the drought. Apart from aquaculture enterprises, the administration cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers and ranchers, according to the statement.

Nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by drought conditions.

The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 4% for small businesses and 3.25% for private nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years. Interest does not accrue, and payments are not due until 12 months from the date of the first loan disbursement.

The administration sets loan amounts and terms based on each applicant’s financial condition. Eligibility is based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources.

“These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred,” the statement reads. “The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.”

Applicants may apply online via the Small Business Administration’s secure website at sba.gov/disaster and should apply under declaration No. 20100.

Disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling the administration’s customer service center at (800) 659-2955. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability, dial 711 to access telecommunications relay services or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Loan applications can be downloaded from the Small Business Administration’s website at sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Submit completed loan applications no later than July 15.

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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