Jan. 23 --The federal government's agricultural disaster declaration Jan. 15 due to drought triggered the availability of loans for small businesses. Small businesses, excluding farms and ranches, in Ventura County , 34 other California counties and certain counties in Arizona and Nevada may apply for low-interest Economic Injury Disaster loans from the Small Business Administration . Farm and ranch owners may apply to the Farm Services Agency for help. The loans are designed to offset revenue losses caused by the drought for businesses dependent on agriculture producers that suffered production losses due to the drought and businesses directly harmed by the drought. The losses must have begun Jan. 1 , according to the SBA. Agricultural cooperatives and businesses doing aquaculture and most private, nonprofit organizations also are eligible for the loans. Loan amounts are capped at $2 million . The interest rate is 4 percent for businesses and 2.63 percent for private nonprofits. The loans carry maximum terms of 30 years. The deadline to apply is Sept. 15 . An application is available at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela . Disaster loan information and applications also are available by calling the SBA at 800-659-2955 or emailing email@example.com . ___ (c)2014 Ventura County Star (Camarillo, Calif.) Visit Ventura County Star (Camarillo, Calif.) at www.vcstar.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
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