Following the recent drought emergency designation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (attached) which provides Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans to farmers in 12 counties, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced this week that working capital disaster loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations in North Carolina because of the drought that started 5 April.
The SBA declaration covers the primary counties of Beaufort, Bladen, Cumberland, Edgecombe, Greene, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Wayne and Wilson in North Carolina; and the contiguous counties of Bertie, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Duplin, Franklin, Halifax, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Moore, Nash, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Scotland, Wake and Washington in North Carolina; and Dillon, Horry and Marlboro in South Carolina.
Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) are available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. Apart from aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers or ranchers. Nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by drought conditions. The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 2.94 percent for small businesses and 1.875 percent for private nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years.
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. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov/ela/s/ and should apply under SBA declaration # 17478.