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Federal economic-disaster loans

St. Joseph County Emergency Services Coordinator Jim Barnes has passed along information relevant to agriculture-related businesses that have suffered financially from this summer’s drought.

Barnes noted that the U.S. Small Business Administration is making available federal economic-disaster loans to small businesses, agricultural cooperatives and other agriculture-related businesses in Michigan.

St. Joseph County is one of 10 drought-stricken counties in the state to qualify for the loans. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, or ranchers. Nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by the drought conditions.

Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than March 25, 2013.

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