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Small businesses eligible for loans because of drought

Feb. 4, 2014 at 4:04 p.m.
Updated Feb. 3, 2014 at 8:04 p.m.


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Disaster loan information and application forms are available online at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or sba.gov/services/disasterassistance, by calling 1-800-659-2955 or emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The long-lasting drought is taking a toll across the United States.

As a result, the U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that 162 Texas counties are now eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans.

"These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the drought that began Nov. 1, 2013," said Tanya N. Garfield, acting director of SBA's Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

Goliad and Refugio were recognized as primary Texas counties, and DeWitt and Victoria were recognized as neighboring counties eligible for the loans.

Eligibility covers the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers who have suffered agricultural losses and businesses directly impacted by the drought, she said. Businesses ranging from small to nonprofit organizations may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations or operating expenses that could have been met if there wasn't an ongoing drought.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible and should contact the Farm Services Agency about assistance. Nurseries are eligible in drought disasters.

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