Deadline for SBA loans linked to freezing temperatures nears

The clock is ticking.

Applications for federal Small Business Administration (SBA) economic injury disaster loans are still being accepted, but not for long.

Applications for the loans, available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and many private, non-profit organizations economically affected by freezing temperatures between March 1 and May 13 of last year, will only be accepted until Feb. 22.

The loans are available to otherwise eligible applicants in Warren County and 20 other Pennsylvania counties which fall under the Secretary of Agriculture’s disaster declaration.

“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 a press release Friday.

The SBA declaration, in turn, makes economic injury disaster loans available to entities that suffered a financial loss as a direct result of the disaster.

With the exception of aquacultural entities, the SBA loans are not available to agricultural producers, farmers or ranchers.

Loans can be for as much as $2 million with a four percent interest rate for small businesses and a three percent interest rate for non-profits with term of up to 30 years. Eligibility and actual loan terms are decided by the SBA on an individual applicant basis.

As working capital loans, the funds can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans may not be used to replace lost sales or profits.

Further information and online application information is available at www.sba.gov/content/economic-injury-disaster-loans, by calling SBA’s customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 or by e-mail at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.