SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Officials are inviting small, local, non-farm businesses to apply for low‑interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA.
According to Director Tanya N. Garfield of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West, businesses in five Utah counties and neighboring counties in Idaho and Wyoming are now eligible.
“There has been such a focus over the last year on COVID-19 relief that many entrepreneurs may have forgotten that there are many additional ways the SBA supports small businesses,” shares Marla Trollan, Utah’s SBA District Director. “The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture declared this year’s drought as an agricultural disaster on June 25, 2021 which allows small non-farm businesses affected by the drought to be eligible for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. This is Utah’s sixth declared disaster due to our drought this year.”
Trollan states these loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by drought in the following primary counties that began in the beginning of May.
Utah Counties eligible: Rich, Cache, Morgan, Summit and Weber.
Neighboring Idaho counties: Bear Lake and Franklin.
Neighboring Wyoming counties: Lincoln and Uinta.
“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,” Garfield adds.
According to officials, small, non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, are eligible up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and “operating expenses which 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. These loans have an interest rate of 2.88 percent for businesses and 2 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,” shares Garfield.
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 June 25, 2021.
“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,” they conclude.
To apply for assistance visit: https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/