Small, nonfarm businesses can get some help

SACRAMENTO, CA.—Small, nonfarm businesses in 131 Texas counties and neighboring counties in New Mexico and Oklahoma are now eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

“These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by drought, excessive heat, high winds and wildfires that occurred in 40 primary Texas counties beginning Jan. 1, 2011,” announced Alfred E. Judd, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

Primar y Texas counties are: Bexar, Borden, Carson, Crane, Dallas, Dawson, Dimmit, Ector, Falls, Fannin, Gaines, Grayson, Henderson, Hill, Hunt, Kaufman, Kinney, Llano, Mason, Matagorda, Maverick, Montague, Navarro, Nueces, Real, Red River, Rockwall, Runnels, Tarrant, Terry, Uvalde, Van Zandt, Ward, Wharton, Williamson, Wilson, Winkler, Wise, Yoakum and Zavala.

Neighboring Texas counties include: Anderson, Andrews, Aransas, Armstrong, Atascosa, Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Bell, Blanco, Bosque, Bowie, Brazoria, Burnet, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Cochran, Coke, Coleman, Collin, Colorado, Comal, Concho, Cooke, Crockett, Delta, Denton, Donley, Edwards, Ellis, Fort Bend, Franklin, Freestone, Frio, Garza, Gillespie, Gonzales, Gray, Guadalupe, Hockley, Hopkins, Howard, Hutchinson, Jack, Jackson, Jim Wells, Johnson, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Kleberg, La Salle, Lamar, Lee, Limestone, Loving, Lubbock, Lynn, Martin, McCulloch, McLennan, Medina, Menard, Midland, Milam, Mitchell, Moore, Morris, Nolan, Parker, Pecos, Potter, Rains, Randall, Reeves, Roberts, Robertson, San Patricio, San Saba, Scurry, Smith, Taylor, Titus, Tom Green, Travis, Upton, Val Verde, Webb and Wood.

“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,” Judd said.

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 (EIDLs) of 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 four percent for businesses and three 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,” Judd said.

By law, SBA makes EIDLs available when the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. Secretary Tom Vilsack declared this disaster at the request of Governor Rick Perry.

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

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) at https://disasterloan.

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800- 659-2955,, or visiting disasterassistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call 800-877-8339.

The deadline to apply for these loans is Sept. 4.

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