JEFFERSON CITY - The Small Business Administration has approved a SBA Economic Injury Disaster Declaration for businesses in Mississippi, New Madrid, Scott and Stoddard counties as a result of freezing temperatures from April 5-10.
Small, non-farm businesses in the counties may now apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. These disaster loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the freeze.
"I know many Missourians are still dealing with the after effects of April's crippling freeze," Gov. Matt Blunt said about the announcement. "I am pleased the Small Business Administration will offer assistance to our businesses in Mississippi, New Madrid, Scott and Stoddard counties as they continue to recover."
In addition to the four area counties, 60 other Missouri counties were included in the disaster declaration as well as counties in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
SBA's disaster declaration was issued as a result of a similar action taken by the Secretary of Agriculture to help farmers recover from damages and losses to crops caused by extremely cold temperatures.
Under this declaration, SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program is available to farm-related and nonfarm-related small business concerns and small agricultural cooperatives that suffered economic injury as a direct result of this disaster. Farmers and ranchers are not eligible to apply to SBA.
Eligible small businesses may qualify for loans up to $1.5 million. These loans are available at a 4 percent interest rate with loan terms up to 30 years. SBA determines eligibility for the program based on the size and type of business and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based upon each applicant's financial condition. Under this disaster declaration, SBA cannot provide loans to agricultural producers.
Interested business owners should contact SBA's Customer Service Center by calling 1-800-659-2955 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.