POSTED: Friday, July 26, 2013 - 9:33am
UPDATED: Friday, July 26, 2013 - 3:01pm
Smith County, Texas (Smith County) —
Small, nonfarm businesses in 13 Texas counties, including Smith County, are now eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These loans are designed to offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the drought that began July 9, 2013.
Other eligible counties include: Galveston and Henderson; Anderson, Brazoria, Chambers, Cherokee, Ellis, Freestone, Harris, Kaufman, Navarro and Van Zandt.
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 (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.
Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 4% for businesses and 2.875% for private, nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years.
Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance.
Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency (FSA) about the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance.
The deadline to apply for these loans is March 17, 2014.
To apply or for more information please contact the SBA:
Apply online using the Electronic Loan Application at: https://disasterloan.sba.gov.ela 
Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA's Customer Service Center by calling SBA toll-free at (800) 659-2955, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org  or visiting SBA's Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance . Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call 800-877-8339.