Kennewick — Small, nonfarm Tri-City businesses can apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration to offset economic losses caused by a drought starting April 1.
The drought occurred in Walla Walla, Chelan and Lincoln counties, but affected businesses in neighboring counties including Adams, Benton, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Grant, King, Kittitas, Okanogan, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, Stevens and Whitman and Umatilla in Oregon.
Businesses that are dependent on farmers and ranchers who suffered losses and businesses directly impacted by the drought are eligible, according to officials. The eligibility is based on the financial impact and not on actual property damage. The deadline to apply is Jan. 28, 2015.
The interest rates are 4 percent for businesses and 2.625 percent for private, nonprofit organizations. The maximum term is 30 years.
Farmers and ranchers should contact the Farm Services Agency about the U. S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available. But nurseries are eligible for the Small Business Administration disaster assistance.
To apply online, go to https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. For more information or application forms, call 800-659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing should call 800-877-8339. For more information, go to www.sba.gov/disaster.