ALACHUA COUNTY - The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced last week that federal disaster loans are available to small businesses located in the State of Florida as a result of drought that occurred January 1, 2007 and continues. Small businesses in Alachua County are eligible to apply. See below for a complete list of eligible counties
"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 assist small businesses affected by the same disaster," said Frank Skaggs, Director of SBA Field Operations Center East.
Under this declaration, SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to farm-related and nonfarm-related small business concerns and small agricultural cooperatives that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. Farmers and ranchers are not eligible to apply to SBA, but nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by drought conditions.
Eligible small businesses may qualify for loans up to $1.5 million. These loans are available at a 4 percent interest rate with loan terms up to 30 years. SBA determines eligibility for the program based on the size and type of business and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based upon each applicant's financial condition. Under this disaster declaration, the SBA cannot provide loans to agricultural producers.
Interested business owners should contact the SBA's Customer Service Center by calling 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing-impaired) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Loan applications can also be downloaded from http://www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance/businessesofallsizes/index.html
. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than July 28, 2008.
Small businesses in the following counties are eligible to apply for SBA federal disaster loans:
Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Calhoun, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Glades, Gulf, Hamilton, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Holmes, Indian River, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okaloosa, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Seminole, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Volusia, Wakulla, Walton and Washington.