Wisconsin drought: SBA offers loans after disaster declaration

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that economic injury disaster loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and private nonprofit organizations in Wisconsin due to drought that began on June 1.

Low-interest disaster loans are available in Jefferson, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha counties in southeastern Wisconsin.

Additionally, loans are available in Dane, Green and Rock counties. Boone and Winnebago counties in Illinois are also eligible.

"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 Kem Fleming, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East. 

Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program is available to eligible farm-related and non-farm-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 and 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 2.88% for small businesses and 2% for private nonprofit organizations of all sizes, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. 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.

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How to apply

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website and should apply under SBA declaration #17066 – not for the COVID-19 incident.

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 – 800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing – or by sending an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Loan applications can be downloaded from sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155

Submit completed loan applications to SBA no later than March 28, 2022.

This story was reported from Milwaukee.

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