In response to economic losses caused by the statewide drought, certain small businesses across California, including in the Tri-Counties, are now eligible to apply for low-interest federal loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the agency announced on Jan. 21.
Small, non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million. These loans have an interest rate of 4 percent for businesses and 2.625 percent for private, nonprofit organizations, and a maximum 30-year term. The deadline to apply for the loans is Sept. 15.
“These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the drought that began on January 1, 2014,” Tanya Garfield, acting director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West, said in a statement.
By law, SBA makes these loans available when the U.S. Department of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster, which was announced on Jan. 15. Though businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for the SBA assistance, they can apply for aid through the USDA’s Farm Services Agency.
The SBA offer extends to certain counties in Arizona and Nevada, and the following 35 counties in California: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Monterey, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura and Yolo.
Applicants may apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.