Crucial Deadline Looms for 2018 Storm Relief
The deadline is approaching for Sheridan County organizations affected by a severe storm in July 2018 to apply for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) federal disaster loan for economic injury.
By law, SBA makes Economic Injury Disaster Loans available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. According to Director Tanya Garfield of the SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West, small non-farm businesses can apply for assistance up until July 26.
These low-interest loans are to offset economic losses caused by hail and high winds on July 26, 2018. Big Horn County is the primary county eligible for relief, but neighboring counties are also eligible.
According to Garfield, small non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet working capital needs caused by the disasters.
These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disasters’ impact.
“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disasters and businesses directly impacted by the disasters. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the applicant suffered any property damage,” Garfield said in a press release.
The interest rate is as low as 3.61 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years.
Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about USDA assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration.
Applicants may apply online or call the SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339.