Small businesses in Texas, New Mexico eligible for federal disaster loans due to drought

Small businesses in Texas, New Mexico eligible for federal disaster loans due to drought
Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 7:24pm

Some borderland area businesses could be eligible to apply for federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Association following last year's drought. 

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsacck declared the drought that began October 1, 2013 as an agricultural disaster.  That declaration qualifies small, nonfarm businesses to apply for Economic Disaster Loans of up to $2 million.

Many farmers and ranchers suffered a loss in production due to the drought, and many small businesses who rely on those crops also suffered a loss. It's those small businesses that can apply for the loans to help recover revenue that they lost due to the drought.

"Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage.

These loans have an interest rate of 4% for businesses and 2.875% for private, nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most private, nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship," said Tanya N. Garfield, Acting Director of SBA's Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

A total of 26 counties are eligible.  In our area, those counties include El Paso, Hudspeth, Doña Ana and Otero counties.  The deadline to apply for these loans is September 15, 2014.

pplicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure Web site at

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA's Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or e-mailing  Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency (FSA) about the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance made available by the Secretary's declaration.

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