Small, non-farm businesses in 70 Iowa counties are eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Tanya Garfield, acting director of SBA’s disaster field operations center-West, said the loans are intended to offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the drought from Aug. 27 through Oct. 28.
"SBA eligibility covers the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” Garfield said.
The drought primarily affected Adair, Audubon, Boone, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Carroll, Clarke, Crawford, Dallas, Des Moines, Greene, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hardin, Henry, Ida, Iowa, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Keokuk, Lee, Louisa, Lucas, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Muscatine, Pocahontas, Polk, Poweshiek, Sac, Shelby, Story, Tama, Union, Wapello, Warren, Washington and Webster counties.
Also eligible are businesses in the neighboring counties of Adams, Appanoose, Benton, Black Hawk, Butler, Cass, Cedar, Cherokee, Clay, Davis, Decatur, Franklin, Grundy, Harrison, Humboldt, Kossuth, Linn, Monona, O’Brien, Palo Alto, Pottawattamie, Ringgold, Scott, Taylor, Van Buren, Wayne, Woodbury and Wright.
Small, non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred.
"Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage," Garfield said. "The loans have an interest rate of 4 percent for businesses and 2.875 percent for private, nonprofit organizations with a maximum term of 30 years."Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance.