Nonfarm businesses and nonprofit organizations impacted by drought may now qualify for low interest loans in 12 Colorado counties as well as two counties in Utah.
The US Small Business Administration has announced the loans to help offset losses caused by reduced income due to the drought disaster that has been impacting the state since at least December 2017. The SBA has issued other declarations for Colorado counties over the past two months.
Two Colorado counties, Mesa and Otero, were designated as primary impact areas. Businesses in adjoining counties, including Bent, Crowley, Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Kiowa, Las Animas, Montrose, Pitkin and Pueblo, are also eligible. Neighboring Grand and San Juan counties in Utah also qualify.
Eligibility covers both businesses that are directly impacted by the drought disaster, as well as those dependent upon agricultural producers who have suffered drought losses. While ag producers may not be eligible for SBA loan assistance, they may qualify under disaster declarations made by the US Department of Agriculture.
The SBA says small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and other organizations may qualify loans up to $2 million to meet their financial obligations and cover operating expense that otherwise could have been met if not for the disaster. Financial impact, rather than property damage, help determine eligibility. The interest rate is 3.58 percent for businesses. Nonprofit organizations will receive a 2.5 percent interest rate. Loans can be made for as long as 30 years.
Applications for loan assistance must be made by December 12, 2018.
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA's Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on SBA disaster assistance.