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Nonfarm businesses eligible to apply for economic disaster loans


Special to The Hays Daily News

Special to The Hays Daily News

Small, nonfarm businesses in 47 Kansas counties now are eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration. The loans are intended to offset economic losses caused by drought conditions that began July 17.

The primary Kansas counties include Ellis, Osborne, Rush, Russell and Smith counties.

Nonfarm businesses in the following neighboring Kansas counties also are eligible to apply: Ness, Phillips, Rooks and Trego counties.

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 that 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 4 percent for businesses and 3 percent for private, nonprofit organizations.

They have 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.

By law, SBA makes EIDLs available when the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. Secretary Tom Vilsack declared this disaster July 25.

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 declaration.

However, in drought disasters, nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance.

Applicants can apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA's secure website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster loan information and application forms also are available from SBA's Customer Service Center by calling SBA toll-free at (800) 659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA's website at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can call (800) 877-8339.

The deadline to apply for these loans is March 25.