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SBA makes loans available following summer drought

By Rick Seltzer


Federal economic injury disaster loans are now available to businesses affected by drought and excessive heat this summer in much of upstate New York.

Small businesses, agricultural cooperatives, and most private, nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for the loans if they took financial losses because of drought and heat that started June 1 of this year. The loans are available following a disaster declaration from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“When the secretary of agriculture issues a disaster declaration to help farmers recover from damages and losses to crops, the Small Business Administration issues a declaration to eligible entities affected by the same disaster,” U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Field Operations Center East Director Frank Skaggs said in a news release.

The economic injury loans carry interest rates of 3 percent for private, nonprofit organizations and 4 percent for small businesses. Their maximum term is 30 years, while their maximum value is $2 million.

Loan recipients can use the funding to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that they could have paid if not for the disaster. The loans are not designed to take the place of lost sales or profits. The SBA loans are not available for agricultural producers, farmers, or ranchers, with the exception of aquaculture enterprises.

The disaster declaration covers all Central New York, Southern Tier, and Mohawk Valley counties except for Fulton County, meaning businesses in those counties can apply for loans. It also covers Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties, among others in the state.

Applicants can apply online here or obtain additional information by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing here, or at

Contact Seltzer at


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