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Loan deadline coming for drought-related federal disaster loans

Monitor staff
Published: 4/18/2017 12:18:51 AM

Small businesses, agricultural cooperatives and aquaculture farms have less than a month to apply for federal assistance due to the recent drought, which hasn’t entirely ended despite recent rain and snow.

May 15 is the filing deadline for federal economic injury disaster loans in New Hampshire as a result of the drought that began on Jan. 1, 2016. This disaster declaration covers the northern two-thirds of the state.

Ironically, while the northern half of the state has recovered from the drought, the southern half continues to show drought conditions, as state climatologist Mary Stampone mentioned at a meeting of the New Hampshire Drought Management Team last week. The problem is that groundwater supplies, which take time to be recharged, have not recovered from a year of below-average rainfall and above-average temperatures.

There are increasing signs that another El Nino, the Pacific Ocean phenomenon that shapes weather throughout the continent, is forming. The last El Nino was associated with New Hampshire’s 2016 drought.

Under the federal Small Business Administration declaration, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to farm-related and nonfarm-related entities, including nurseries. Except for aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers or ranchers.

The loans are for working capital and can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 4 percent for eligible small businesses and 2.625 percent for nonprofit organizations, and terms up to 30 years.

Applicants may apply online using the electronic loan application via SBA’s website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela, or by calling the SBA’s customer service center at 800-659-2955 or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.




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