State Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky announced today that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering federal economic injury disaster loans to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquacultural businesses and most private non-profit organizations in Fairfield and Litchfield counties as a result of frosts and freezes beginning March 1, 2012.
“I am pleased that the SBA has offered this assistance and hope that those who are eligible and in need will apply,” said Commissioner Reviczky. “Agriculture is an industry affected by forces beyond human control, including those of Mother Nature. While those engaged in the industry are, by nature, a resilient bunch, a little extra help to recover from severe weather disasters can go a long way.”
According to Frank Scaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta, the SBA issued its own disaster declaration following that from the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The SBA’s declaration works to assist eligible entities affected by the same disaster. Connecticut’s Fairfield and Litchfield counties are eligible because they are contiguous to primary disaster counties in New York.
The program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. While aquacultural enterprises, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private nonprofit organizations are included, other agricultural producers, farmers, and ranchers are not eligible.
Loans can be for as much as $2 million with interest rates of 3 or 4 percent and terms up to 30 years, and 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.
For more information on eligibility requirements and how to apply, please contact the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or email@example.com, or visit www.sba.gov.
Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than February 5, 2013.