WASHINGTON, D.C. – New federal assistance is available to Ohioans that experienced financial loss due to severe storms, blizzard, tornadoes, flooding, and high winds that occurred beginning February 1, 2011. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) will make available federal, low-interest disaster loans to agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses, most private non-profit organizations, and small business owners affected by the storm.

“Small business owners in Fulton, Lucas, and Williams counties can now access resources needed to recover from severe storms that swept through the area last year—which may have impacted their business through no fault of their own,” Brown said. “These loans will help Ohio agricultural co-ops, non-profits, and small businesses rebuild and get back on their feet.”

According to SBA, for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.  EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage. Interest rates are as low as 1.938 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years.  Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Individuals and businesses unable to visit the Center in person may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan applications can also be downloaded from www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be returned to the Center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Fulton, Lucas, and Williams counties are eligible because they are contiguous to one or more primary counties in Michigan.

The deadline to apply for SBA Disaster Loans is September 27, 2012.