A reminder to Florida small businesses owners that September 26th is the U.S. Small Business Administration's filing deadline federal economic injury disaster loans. Loans can be used to protect assets from hurricane damage and frost freezes to crops from November 5, 2010 through December 17, 2010.
Under this declaration, the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. "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," said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA's Field Operations Center East in Atlanta. Unfortunately farmers and ranchers are not eligible to apply to SBA.
Small businesses are eligible for loans up to $2 million with a 4% (3% for non-profits) interest rate and terms up to 30 years. Eligibility is based on size of the applicant, type of activity, financial resources, and loan amounts. Terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition. Loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits but may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred.
The SBA's disaster declaration includes the following counties: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Polk, Putnam, Saint Johns, Saint Lucie, Sarasota, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union and Volusia in Florida.
Disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA's website at www.sba.gov . Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
Those affected by the disaster may also apply for loans electronically from SBA's website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ .