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Disaster loans available for Sussex County businesses

Farm and nonfarm related small businesses eligible
August 9, 2018

Select small businesses in Sussex County may qualify for disaster loans as a result of rain and flooding, May 12-23. 

Sussex farm-related and nonfarm related businesses that suffered financial losses due to flooding may be eligible for economic injury disaster loans through the U.S. Small Business Association. Small aquaculture businesses are eligible, but agricultural producers, farmers and ranchers are not.

SBA spokesperson Kam Fleming said while flooding occurred primarily in Maryland’s Dorchester and Wicomico Counties, Sussex County’s small businesses may also have been affected.

“This county is eligible because it is adjacent to one or more primary counties in Maryland,” he said. “The Small Business Administration recognizes that disasters do not usually stop at county or state lines.”

Farm-related businesses include farm equipment dealers or feed and seed retailers affected when farmers or ranchers are unable to purchase equipment or supplies. 

Nonfarm related businesses could be automobile dealers, appliance stores or restaurants affected by farmers or ranchers unable to make regular household or entertainment purchases because of reduced income during the disaster.

Eligible businesses may borrow up to $2 million with 30-year terms. Private nonprofit organizations will have a 2.5 percent interest rate; small businesses will have a 3.61 percent interest rate. 

SBA will determine eligibility based on applicant size, activity type and financial resources, and will set loan amounts and terms based on each applicant’s financial condition. Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. Loans cannot replace lost sales or profits. 

Go to Disasterloan.sba.gov or call 800-659-2955.