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Drought prompts SBA to make available Economic Injury Disaster Loans for 13 South Dakota counties

Though a farm disaster was only declared in two South Dakota counties, small businesses in other neighboring counties may also be eligible for funding.

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Shown here is a corn field west of Mitchell on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic
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SACRAMENTO, California — An ongoing drought in southeastern South Dakota has driven the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make available economic assistance loans for non-farm businesses in 13 counties that have seen reduced revenues.

According to a Tuesday press release, the SBA has opened up an eligibility window for small non-farm businesses fiscally impacted by drought to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans to offset losses that stem from reduced revenues as far back as Aug. 9.

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” said Tanya Garfield, Director of the SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center’s West division.

Small non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

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A farm disaster has been declared by federal authorities in Hutchinson and Lincoln counties, colored red, though small businesses in neighboring counties, in yellow, may also be eligible to receive funding.
Map by Hunter Dunteman / Mitchell Republic

Though the primary counties deemed by the SBA to be affected by the drought are Hutchinson and Lincoln, small business owners in neighboring counties — including Bon Homme, Charles Mix, Clay, Davison, Douglas, Hanson, McCook, Minnehaha, Turner, Union and Yankton — may also apply. Small businesses in Iowa’s Lyon and Sioux counties may also be eligible.

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“Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage,” Garfield said. “These loans have an interest rate of 3.04% for businesses and 1.875% 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.”

By law, SBA makes Economic Injury Disaster Loans available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. The Secretary declared this disaster on Aug. 15.

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

Eligible business owners may find more information or submit an application online through the SBA's website, by calling SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or by emailing the customer service division.

Completed applications should be mailed to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The deadline to apply for economic injury is April 17, 2023.

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