SBA: Loans available for Virginia businesses hit by drought

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that loans are available to Virginia small businesses, agricultural cooperatives, and private nonprofit organizations as a result of a drought that began in August.

The SBA said in a news release that loans are available in more than three dozen counties and cities, including Richmond, Fredericksburg, Henrico, Loudoun and Westmoreland.

Under the declaration, 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 this disaster.

With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers and ranchers. Nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by drought conditions.

The loan amount can be up to $2 million, with interest rates of 4% for small businesses and 2.75% for private nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years.

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. Completed loan applications must be submitted to SBA no later than Oct. 5.