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Drought aid deadline approaching

by STAFF REPORT
Staff Report | November 21, 2022 3:38 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The deadline to apply for aid from the Small Business Administration in Adams, Lincoln, Grant, Okanogan, Spokane, Stevens and Whitman counties is set for Dec. 19 for small nonfarm businesses who depend on agriculture-based communities for their livelihood, according to an SBA press release.

“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. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the applicant suffered any property damage,” SBA Director Tany N. Garfield said in the release.

By law, SBA makes Economic Injury Disaster Loans available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster, the press release said. The Secretary declared a drought disaster on April 18. The interest rate is 2.94 percent for businesses and 1.875 percent for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about the U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration. However, nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance in drought disasters.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. For people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

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