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SBA offers disaster loans for Midlands’ small business

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Staff Report
colanews@scbiznews.com
Published Sept. 17, 2015

Midlands counties are being included in a federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans program that’s available as a result of the excessive heat and drought in South Carolina beginning on May 1.

The loans, provided through the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and private nonprofit organizations.

Midlands counties included in the declaration are Aiken, Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda, and Sumter.

“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 Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

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 can not provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, or ranchers. Nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by drought conditions.

The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 2.625% for private nonprofit organizations and 4% for small businesses, with terms up to 30 years. 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.

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.

Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than May 9.

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