SBA offers disaster loans in wake of drought


The loan opportunity was made available after the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture's designation of an agricultural disaster this month.   File photo

The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans of up to $2 million to non-farm, small businesses in 15 Arizona counties. 

The SBA loan opportunity was made available after the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture's designation of an agricultural disaster this month. The loans are designed to offset economic losses caused by the drought that began in January. The loans are also available to small businesses in affected counties in California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. 

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” SBA Disaster Field Operations Center-West Director Tanya Garfield said in a statement. 

Businesses eligible for the SBA loans include small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses involved in aquaculture, and many private, nonprofit organizations. According to the SBA, the loans are to help small businesses meet their financial obligations and operating expenses that could not be met due to the disaster. 

“Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage," Garfield said.  

According to Garfield, the SBA loans have an interest rate of 3.385 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations with a maximum term of 30 years.

SBA loan applications may be accessed here, or applicants can call 800-659-2955. 

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