Disaster loans available to Minnesota farms, small businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, nurseries and private nonprofit organizations as a result of a drought that began on June 8, 2021.

This declaration covers the primary Minnesota counties of Chippewa, Faribault, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, Meeker, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Sherburne, Wright, and Yellow Medicine; the contiguous Minnesota counties of Anoka, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Cottonwood, Freeborn, Hennepin, Isanti, McLeod, Mille Lacs, Murray, Nicollet, Pope, Sibley, Stearns, Swift, Waseca, and Watonwan.

“When the Secretary of Agriculture (Tom Vilsack) issues a disaster declaration to help farmers recover from damages and loss to crops, the U.S. Small Business Administration issues a declaration that covers other eligible entities affected by same disaster,” said Kem Fleming, director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center East.

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, and ranchers. Nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by drought conditions.

The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 2.88 percent for small businesses and 2 percent for private nonprofit organizations of all sizes, with terms of up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are 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.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov/ela/s/ and should apply under SBA declaration # 17084, not for the COVID-19 incident.

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 sending an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Loan applications can also be downloaded from sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Submit completed loan applications to the SBA no later than April 11, 2022.

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