Florida small businesses eligible for federal disaster loans up to $2M

Small business in 22 counties can file for federal assistance

(Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The U.S. Small Business Administration will continue to offer Florida small businesses and nonprofit organizations federal economic injury disaster loans because of the drought that began in May.

More than 20 Florida counties are eligible for the financial assistance including Brevard, Charlotte, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Polk, Saint Lucie, Sarasota and Sumter.
Under the 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.” 

The loans apply to “small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations," according to an SBA news release.
According to the SBA the loans are for “working capital and can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 2.5 percent for eligible small businesses and 3.215 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 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.
Applicants can apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
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 the SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. 

The filing deadline is Jan. 10.

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