Federal economic injury disaster loans are now available to those impacted by the drought in Berrien, Branch, Cass, Hillsdale and Saint Joseph counties. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the 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 those counties. Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta, said these counties are eligible because they are contiguous to one or more primary counties in Indiana.“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 assist eligible entities affected by the same disaster,” Skaggs said.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.Loan amounts can be up to $2 million, with interest rates of 3 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for… Read full this story
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