WASHINGTON, D.C. – New federal assistance is available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and non-profit organizations that experienced financial loss due to the drought that began earlier this summer. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) will make available federal economic injury disaster loans to organizations affected by the drought that began June 26th in Darke County.

“Small business owners in Darke County can now access resources needed to recover from the ongoing drought—which may have impacted their business through no fault of their own,” Brown said. “These loans will help businesses rebuild and get back on their feet.”

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 cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, or ranchers. Loan amounts can be up to $2 million, with interest rates of 3 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for small businesses.  Terms can be up to 30 years.  The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources.  The agency sets loan amounts and terms 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.

Darke County was selected for designation due to its proximity to Indiana. 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 e-mail 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 April 22, 2013.

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