Certain, small non-agricultural enterprises in the Paso del Norte borderland are now eligible for U.S. Small Business Administration loans because of the drought extending across the region.
In an announcement, the SBA included the New Mexico county of Dona Ana and the Texas counties of El Paso and Hudspeth among the entities eligible for long-term, low-interest business loans in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma.
“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” said Tanya N. Garfield, acting director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West.
The so-called Economic Injury Disaster Loans were made available when U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack declared the drought-related disaster on Wednesday, January 15, of this year.
The loans carry an interest rate of 4 percent for businesses and 2.875 percent for private, non-profit organizations, payable over a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to enterprises “without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship,” Garfield said.
The SBA noted that “businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching” are ineligible the SBA disaster loan assistance, but could contact the Farm Services Agency for information about other forms of help available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Persons interested in more information about the SBA loan program can go to: http://www.sba.gov/disaster.