SBA loans available for Texas small businesses impacted by weather

By Jennifer Dorsett

Some small Texas businesses may be eligible to apply for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) federal disaster loan for economic injury related to reduced revenue from adverse weather events.

Although farm and ranch operations are not eligible for this Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, small non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may apply.

Loans of up to $2 million are available to help meet working capital needs that would otherwise have been met if the disaster, such as severe drought or excessive rainfall, had not occurred, according to SBA Disaster Field Operations Center-West Director Tanya Garfield.

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disasters and businesses directly impacted by the disasters,” Garfield said in a press release.

EIDL loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disasters’ impact. By law, SBA makes EIDL loans available when the U.S. secretary of agriculture designates an agricultural disaster.

“Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage,” Garfield said. “These loans have an interest rate of 3 percent for businesses and 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years and are available to small businesses and most private nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.”

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching operations are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Farmers and ranchers should contact the Farm Service Agency about U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance made available by the secretary’s declaration. However, during drought, nurseries and aquaculture enterprises are eligible for SBA disaster assistance.

“These loans could help feed stores, crop consultants or other ag-related businesses that have felt the impact and suffered as a result of drought or other major weather events,” Brant Wilbourn, Texas Farm Bureau associate director of Commodity and Regulatory Activities, said. “Even though the owners of these businesses don’t farm or ranch, they rely on farmers and ranchers to buy their products or use their services. When farmers and ranchers aren’t able to make money because of drought, they can’t spend money on those items and services, so it really trickles down through local economies.”

Several USDA declarations have made small businesses in multiple Texas counties eligible. Most are drought-related, but one disaster declaration in 2020 was related to excessive rainfall. The declarations and counties are as follows:

Declaration Number: 16512
Primary Counties: Hansford, Hartley and Ochiltree
Neighboring Counties: Dallam, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Oldham, Roberts and Sherman; Quay and Union in New Mexico; Beaver and Texas in Oklahoma
Incident Type: Drought
Incident Date: Beginning June 9, 2020
Deadline: Feb. 24, 2021

Declaration Number: 16517
Primary Counties: Carson, Gaines, Hutchinson, Moore, Oldham, Potter, Roberts, Sherman, Terry and Yoakum
Neighboring Counties: Andrews, Armstrong, Cochran, Dallam, Dawson, Deaf Smith, Donley, Gray, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Hockley, Lipscomb, Lubbock, Lynn, Martin, Ochiltree, Randall and Wheeler; Lee and Quay in New Mexico; Cimarron and Texas in Oklahoma
Incident Type: Drought
Incident Date: Beginning June 16, 2020
Deadline: Feb. 25, 2021

Declaration Number: 16526
Primary Counties: Briscoe, Floyd, Gray and Motley
Neighboring Counties: Armstrong, Carson, Collingsworth, Cottle, Crosby, Dickens, Donley, Hale, Hall, Hemphill, King, Lubbock, Roberts, Swisher and Wheeler
Incident Type: Drought
Incident Date: Beginning June 23, 2020
Deadline: March 2, 2021

Declaration Number: 16531
Primary Counties: Hunt
Neighboring Counties: Collin, Delta, Fannin, Hopkins, Kaufman, Rains, Rockwall and Van Zandt
Incident Type: Excessive rainfall
Incident Date: Beginning Sept. 1, 2019
Deadline: March 2, 2021

Additional disaster assistance information and online applications, as well as downloadable application forms, are available online.

Applicants may also call SBA Customer Service Center at 800.659.2955 or email for more information.

Printed and completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

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