Disaster Field Operations Center East
SBA Working Capital Loans Available in Florida For Secretary of Agriculture Disaster Declaration for Drought
ATLANTA- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today that federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available in Florida for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations with economic losses due to drought that began on March 21, 2023.
The declaration includes the primary counties of Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Lake and Manatee, and adjacent counties of Glades, Hendry, Hillsborough, Lee, Marion, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia in Florida.
“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 nonfarm-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 4 percent for small businesses and 2.375 percent for private nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years. 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 may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/ and should apply under SBA declaration #17926.
Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (if you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services), or sending an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at 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 the SBA no later than Jan. 16, 2024.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
Recently, U.S. SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced a policy change granting 12 months of no payments and 0 percent interest. This pertains to all disaster loans approved in response to disasters declared on or after Sept. 21, 2022, through Sept. 30, 2023. This policy change will benefit disaster survivors and help them to decrease the overall cost of recovery by reducing the amount of accrued interest they must repay. Details are available through the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659- 2955. Individuals with verbal or hearing impairments may dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, Monday to Friday, or email: DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov.
The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.