Jan. 23 --The federal government's agricultural disaster declaration on Jan. 15 due to the drought triggered the availability of loans for small businesses. Small businesses, excluding farms and ranches, in Ventura County and 34 other California counties and certain counties in Arizona and Nevada can apply for low-interest Economic Injury Disaster loans from the Small Business Administration . Farm and ranch owners can apply to the Farm Services Agency for help. The loans are designed to offset revenue losses caused by the drought for businesses dependent on the agriculture producers that suffered production losses due to the drought and businesses directly impacted by the drought. The losses must have begun Jan. 1 of this year, according to the SBA. Agricultural cooperatives and businesses doing aquaculture and most private, nonprofit organizations are also 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, nonprofit organizations. The loans carry maximum terms of 30 years. The deadline to apply is Sept. 15 . An online application is available at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela . Disaster loan information and application forms are also available by calling SBA at 800-659-2955 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . ___ (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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