Loans available to St. Lawrence County businesses hurt by harsh winter temperatures
Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 8:20 am

Federal economic injury disaster loans are available for small businesses, agricultural cooperatives and non-profit organizations in St. Lawrence County that suffered financial losses as a result of freezing temperatures this winter, according to Rep. Bill Owens.

The disaster declaration covers much of New York’s 21st Congressional District including St. Lawrence counties.

“Freezing winter and spring temperatures can have a devastating effect on North Country businesses, including those whose work supports local farmers and ranchers,” Owens said. “These SBA loans help local companies and non-profits that suffered from the harsh winter and freezing spring to get back on their feet.”

Loans can be for amounts up to $2 million with interest rates of 2.625 percent for private non-profit organizations and 4 percent for small businesses, with terms up to 30 years.

Eligibility and terms are based on the size, activity, financial condition and financial resources of the applicant organization. These loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits but may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid if the disaster had not occurred.

With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, SBA loans are not available to agricultural producers, farmers or ranchers that are eligible for loans through other agencies.

“When the Secretary of Agriculture issues a disaster declaration to help farmers recover from damages and losses to crops, the Small Business Administration issues a declaration to related businesses that are affected by the same disaster,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than January 14, 2015.

Applicants can apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Loan information and application forms are also available online at www.sba.gov/disaster, by phone at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.