Small Businesses Eligible for Disaster Loans
Connecticut small businesses affected by the frost and freeze May 18, 2023 are now eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The SBA announced the loan program Aug. 2.
In July, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved an agriculture disaster declaration for all eight counties in Connecticut because of the frost and freeze.
The declaration also covers select areas in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
“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,” director of SBA field operations center east Kem Fleming said.
“This abnormally cold weather event that occurred this spring caused incredible amounts of damage to crops of all kinds at farms in Connecticut,” Gov. Ned Lamont said when the disaster declaration was approved.
“In the following days farmers from across the state contacted my office expressing concerns about how these production losses will impact their businesses.”
Under the declaration, SBA loans are available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster.
That includes small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations.
Loans of up to $2 million are available for eligible small businesses.
Interest rates are 4% for small businesses and 2.375% for private nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years.
SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, and ranchers.
However, farmers are able to apply for disaster assistance through the Farm Service Agency.
Small businesses can use the loans for paying fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills.
However, they are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.
Small businesses can apply for loans through the SBA website under SBA declaration #18007.
The deadline to submit applications to the SBA is March 5, 2024.
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