The Star-Herald

SBA offers loans to those impacted by drought

MAINE — The U.S. Small Business Administration will make available Economic Injury Disaster Loans to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and private nonprofit organizations located in Maine as a result of the drought that began on May 1, 2018.

The loans are available in Aroostook, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset and Washington counties in Maine.

“When the Secretary of Agriculture issues a disaster declaration to help farmers recover from damages and losses to crops, the Small Business Administration issues a declaration to eligible entities, affected by the same disaster,” said Kem Fleming, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East.

Under this declaration, the SBA’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 this disaster. With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers and ranchers, but nurseries are eligible to apply for EIDLs for losses caused by drought conditions.

The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations of all sizes and 3.61 percent for small businesses, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. 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 loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at Disasterloan.sba.gov.

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan applications can be downloaded from Disasterloan.sba.gov. 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 to SBA no later than May 28, 2019.

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