Grand County qualifies for nonfarm drought-relief funds

Small nonfarm agriculture businesses in select parts of Utah are now eligible for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The loans are designed to offset reduced revenue losses that result from drought in Grand, Beaver, Iron, Piute, and Sevier counties.

“We are grateful for the efforts of the SBA to help protect Utah’s small agriculture-based businesses,” said Commissioner LuAnn Adams, Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. “Despite a fairly wet spring, much of Utah is still experiencing unusually-high drought conditions – SBA disaster relief is critical to safeguarding our agribusinesses that rely on vulnerable producers and growers.”

Small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture 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 which could have been met had the disasters not occurred.

According to Tanya Garfield, director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West, eligibility is based on the financial impact of the disasters only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate as low as 3.58 percent for businesses and 2.5 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.

By law, SBA makes economic injury loans available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. The secretary declared Declaration Number 15531 on May 3, 2018, and Declaration Number 15538 on May 10, 2018.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about the U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the secretary’s declaration. However, in drought disasters nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email [email protected] for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.