South Dakota Small Businesses Eligible for EIDL Loans Amidst Drought Conditions

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has declared that small nonfarm businesses in 12 South Dakota counties, along with neighboring counties in Iowa and Minnesota, are now eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans. The move aims to offset economic losses incurred due to reduced revenues in the wake of the ongoing drought, which began on June 6.

Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha, and Turner are the primary South Dakota counties eligible for assistance. Small businesses from neighboring South Dakota counties like Clay, Hanson, Hutchinson, Lake, Miner, Moody, Union, and Yankton can also apply for these loans. The offer extends to Lyon and Sioux counties in Iowa and Pipestone and Rock counties in Minnesota.

According to Tanya N. Garfield, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West, the eligibility for these loans covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses due to the disaster, as well as businesses directly impacted by the disaster.

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Small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million. These loans are designed to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses, which could have been met, had the drought not occurred.

Garfield clarified, “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 percent for businesses and 2.375 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.”

As per law, SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are made available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. The current disaster was officially declared on July 31.

However, businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises are advised to contact the Farm Services Agency about the U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration. On the other hand, nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance in drought disasters.

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The announcement comes as a significant relief for small businesses, agricultural cooperatives, and aquaculture entities struggling with financial obligations amidst the drought-induced economic slump. By providing the necessary financial assistance, these loans could play a crucial role in ensuring the survivability of these businesses during these challenging times. The overall aim is to enable these entities to maintain their operations, support local economies, and contribute to the broader recovery of the regions affected by the drought.

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