• 36°

Small Business Administration offers disaster loans

This summer was not only excessively dry, it was also expensive for businesses affected by the drought and heat wave.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is taking applications for federal disaster loans to small businesses in Lawrence and five other southern Ohio counties.

“Kentucky has gotten a disaster declaration and Lawrence County has been included since it is contiguous with Kentucky,” Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Boster explained.

Other eligible Ohio counties are Adams, Brown, Clermont, Hamilton and Scioto.

Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program is available to farm-related and non-farm-related small business concerns and small agricultural cooperatives that suffered financial losses as a direct result of the disaster. Farmers and ranchers are not eligible to apply for these loans but nurseries are.

“When the Secretary of Agriculture issues a disaster declaration to help farmers recover from damages and losses to crops, the SBA issues a declaration to assist small businesses affected by the same disaster,” Frank Skaggs, director of SBA Field Operations Center East.

Eligible small businesses may apply for a loan of up to $1.5 million, according to information from the SBA.

The loans are available at a 4 percent interest rate with loan terms of up to 30 years. Loan amounts and other specifics are set by the SBA and are determined by the applicant’s financial condition.

Those interested should call the SBA’s Consumer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday. Loan applications may also be downloaded via the SBA website at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

Applications must be returned to the SBA no later than June 2, 2008.