ATLANTA,Sept. 19, 2011/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding small businesses that Oct. 17 is the filing deadline for federal economic injury disaster loans available in the counties of Ashe, Avery and Watauga in North Carolina. The SBA declared a disaster because of the drought and excess heat that began on June 1, 2010.
"These counties are eligible because they are contiguous to one or more primary counties in Tennessee. The Small Business Administration recognizes that disasters do not usually stop at county or state lines. For that reason, counties adjacent to primary counties named in the declaration are included," according to Frank Skaggs, director of SBA's Field Operations Center East.
"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.
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 aquacultural enterprises, agricultural producers, farmers and ranchers are not eligible to apply to SBA, but nurseries are eligible to apply for EIDLs for losses caused by drought conditions.
The loan amount can be up to $2 million with a 4 percent interest rate for eligible small businesses and 3 percent for non-profit organizations with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition. 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.
Disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m, and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET or by sending an email to [email protected]. Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA's website at www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.