The U.S. Small Business Administration announced on Monday that Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to businesses and non-profits that have been impacted by the drought which has effected many Bristol Co. farms.

Kathy Cook, A Public Affairs Specialist with the Small Business Administration, told WBSM News that the SBA recognizes that when droughts take place in agricultural communities, many local businesses suffer as well.

"The farming and agricultural communities are all tied together, small businesses that are not specifically farms, but farm related, and even the non-farm related start suffering because of the drought and that's where the SBA comes in," said Cook.

The businesses, including nurseries, can apply for up to $2 million at interest rates of four percent for small businesses and 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations.

Eligibility is determined by factors size of the organization applying for the loan, the type of activity, and financial resources.

Terms of the loan and amounts provided are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Cook says the funds provided by the loans can only be used for specific expenses.

"It's not to consolidate debt, it's not to expand operations, it's not to refinance," said Cook "what it is for is the things that the business normally could pay had the business not been effected by the drought."

Those interested in applying can find the Electronic Loan Application on SBA’s secure website.

Application forms and additional information can also be found by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by emailing:

Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s website.

Once completed applications should be snt to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

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