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Rain-related disaster loans available

ATLANTA – The U.S. Small Business Administration will be accepting applications until April 28, 2014, for economic injury disaster loans from small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private non-profit organizations in the North Carolina counties bordering South Carolina.

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of excessive rain beginning March 1.  With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, or ranchers.

The disaster declaration includes Anson, Brunswick, Cleveland, Columbus, Gaston, Henderson, Mecklenburg, Polk, Richmond, Robeson, Rutherford, Scotland, Transylvania and Union counties in North Carolina.

“These counties are eligible because they are contiguous to one or more primary counties in South Carolina,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta, in an announcement. “The Small Business Administration recognizes that disasters do not usually stop at county or state lines. For that reason, counties adjacent to primary counties named in the declaration are included.”

The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 2.875 percent for private non-profit organizations of all sizes and 4 percent for small businesses, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. 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 at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.  Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at www.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. For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program, visit www.sba.gov/disaster.

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