Following the unfortunate frost and freeze events on May 18, 2023, which significantly affected small businesses in various sectors in Connecticut, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has stepped in to offer financial aid. The SBA has rolled out its Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs), a program crafted to assist small businesses, aquaculture-associated small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private nonprofit organizations.
Connecticut’s primary counties, including Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, Tolland, and Windham, are covered under this program. Moreover, the initiative extends to the adjoining counties of Fairfield in Connecticut; Berkshire, Hampden, and Worcester in Massachusetts; Dutchess and Suffolk in New York; and Kent, Providence, and Washington in Rhode Island.
Kem Fleming, the director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East, shed light on the matter, stating, “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 eligible entities, affected by the same disaster.”
While the SBA’s EIDL program is instrumental for eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that endured financial repercussions due to this disaster, it’s crucial to note that agricultural producers, farmers, and ranchers, except aquaculture enterprises, are not within the purview of this loan facility.
Qualified businesses and organizations can apply for loans of up to $2 million. These loans come with an interest rate of 4 percent for small businesses and 2.375 percent for private nonprofit entities. With terms stretching up to 30 years, the working capital loans are specifically tailored to address fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other essential bills. However, they aren’t designed to supplant lost sales or profits.
For those seeking this opportunity, applications can be made online via the SBA’s secure Electronic Loan Application portal.
For businesses aiming to leverage this lifeline, the deadline for submission is March 5, 2024. In these challenging times, such initiatives affirm the commitment of institutions like the SBA towards ensuring the sustainability and resilience of small businesses, which remain the backbone of the U.S. economy.
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