January 25, 2013

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

Small Businesses in Shelby, 21 Other Alabama Counties May Qualify for SBA Drought Loans

January 24, 2013

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Small businesses, agriculture co-ops and nonprofits in Shelby County and 21 other Alabama counties may be eligible for U.S. Small Business Administration loans as a result of the drought, the SBA announced.

The SBA makes the loans available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture issues a disaster declaration, said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA's Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

Alabama counties within the declared disaster area are: Autauga, Barbour, Bibb, Bullock, Butler, Chilton, Coffee, Coosa, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Dallas, Elmore, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Lowndes, Montgomery, Perry, Pike, Russell and Shelby.

Farmers and ranchers are not eligible for the loans, the SBA said, but aquaculture businesses and nurseries may be eligible for loans of up to $2 million. The SBA may charge interest at a rate of about 3 percent for private nonprofits and 4 percent for small businesses. Eligibility will be determined by the size of the applicant, the type of businesses and available resources. Amounts loaned and terms are based on applicants' financial condition.

The loans can be used to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could have been paid if not for the drought.

"The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits," the SBA said.

Applicants can apply online or information and forms can be obtained by emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or by calling 800-659-2955.

Applications must be returned to the SBA by Sept. 16.

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