Three more drought-ridden counties eligible for assistance

NORTH MISSISSIPPI — The U.S. Small Business Administration reports federal economic injury disaster loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes located in Alcorn, Benton and Tippah counties as a result of the drought and excessive heat.

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, SBA cannot 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 3 percent for private non-profit organizations of all sizes and 4 percent for small businesses, 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.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

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. 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.

Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than May 13, 2013.

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