October 29, 2009

Disaster Aid Available for Scotland County Small Businesses

Small, non-farm businesses in 75 Missouri counties and neighboring counties in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky and Tennessee are now eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the excessive rain, strong winds and flooding that occurred in the following primary Missouri counties from February 1 through July 31, 2009, announced Alfred E. Judd, Director of SBAs Disaster Field Operations Center West.

Primary Missouri counties included in the disaster declaration are Scotland, Adair, Caldwell, Carroll, Cedar, Crawford, Daviess, De Kalb, Dunklin, Gentry, Harrison, Knox, Laclede, Marion, Mercer, Mississippi, Montgomery, New Madrid, Nodaway, Pemiscot, Phelps, Pulaski, Ripley, Schuyler, Shelby, Sullivan, Warren and Worth.

Neighboring Missouri counties eligible for the program includes Andrew, Atchison, Audrain, Barton, Buchanan, Butler, Callaway, Camden, Carter, Chariton, Clark, Clinton, Dade, Dallas, Dent, Franklin, Gasconade, Grundy, Holt, Iron, Lafayette, Lewis, Lincoln, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Maries, Miller, Monroe, Oregon, Osage, Pike, Polk, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Ray, St. Charles, St. Clair, Saline, Scott, Stoddard, Texas, Vernon, Washington, Webster and Wright.

The neighboring county designation flows into five counties in Arkansas, three counties in Illinois, eight counties in southern Iowa, four counties in Kentucky and two counties in Tennessee.

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, Judd said.

Small, non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

Eligibility for these working capital loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 4%, a maximum term of 30 years, and are restricted to small businesses without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship, Judd added.

By law, SBA makes EIDLs available when the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. Secretary Tom Vilsack declared this disaster at the request of Governor Jay Nixon.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency (FSA) about the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance made available by the Secretarys declaration.

Info and application forms are available from SBAs Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659 2955, emailing disaster customerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBAs Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBAs secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

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