Federal Disaster Loans Open for South Carolina Small Businesses Hit by March Freeze


The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the availability of federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private non-profit organizations in South Carolina, suffering economic damages due to a severe freeze that struck on March 20 – 21.

Small business owners in Greenville County in South Carolina and in the neighboring counties of Abbeville, Anderson, Laurens, Pickens, and Spartanburg in South Carolina, and Henderson, Polk, and Transylvania in North Carolina are eligible to apply for these loans. The declaration follows a disaster declaration issued by the Secretary of Agriculture, aimed at assisting farmers in their recovery from crop damages and losses.

“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,” said Kem Fleming, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East.

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The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program is accessible to qualified farm-related and non-farm-related entities that have suffered financial losses due to this natural disaster. However, besides aquaculture enterprises, the SBA clarified that they cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, and ranchers.

The offered disaster loans can reach up to $2 million, with interest rates of 4 percent for small businesses and 2.375 percent for private nonprofit organizations. The terms for these loans can stretch up to 30 years. This funding is designed to support businesses with working capital, allowing them to cover fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills they could have addressed had the freeze not occurred. Notably, these loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

Small businesses and nonprofits interested in these loans can apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov.

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