Disaster assistance available for farm-related, non-farm businesses; 1st payment on loans deferred 11 months

Published 11:29 am Wednesday, November 7, 2018

ATLANTA — SBA’s Regional Administrator Ashley Bell issued the following statement after learning of Hurricane Michael’s physical and financial impact on farming communities in rural Georgia.
“Not many people are aware that the U.S. Small Business Administration’s disaster loans are the primary source of federal assistance for nonfarm, private sector disaster losses. SBA’s disaster loan program can assist many types of businesses in the impacted areas including those entities that are dependent upon the agriculture industry, such as implement dealers, packers, processors, wholesalers, and retailers.”
Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Applicants may be eligible for a loan increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes.
Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
“In many cases, SBA’s low-interest disaster loans are the key to funding disaster repairs and recovery, and SBA just approved another tool to help make these loans affordable,” said Bell. “Disaster loans made for Hurricane Michael are being given an 11-month deferment, which means the first loan payment will not be due until 12 months from the date of the Promissory Note. This gives residents and businesses time to rebuild and get back to normal before making loan payments.”
SBA representatives at Business Recovery Centers and Disaster Recovery Centers can provide information about disaster loans, answer questions and assist businesses with completing the SBA application. Farmers should contact their local FSA agent for assistance.