Nonfarm businesses can apply for disaster loans

Small nonfarm businesses in Sheridan County are eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Tanya Garfield, director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West, announced the loans, saying they offset economic losses due to reduced revenues due to drought that began Sept. 29 this year in a number of counties in Montana and neighboring states.

The loans are available in nine Montana counties, three in Wyoming including Sheridan and two in South Dakota. Garfield said SBA eligibility covers both the economic impact on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agriculture losses caused by the drought and businesses directly impacted by the disaster.

Eligible businesses include small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size. She said Economic Injury Disaster loans of up to $2 million are available to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses. The deadline for applications is July 20, 2021.

Gargield said eligibility for the loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage.

The loans have an interest rate of 3 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for private non-profit organizations, and a maximum term of 30 years. Businesses primarily engaged in farming and ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance and should contact the Farm Services Agency regarding disaster relief available to them. But Garfield said nurseries are eligible for the SBA disaster assistance.

Applicants can apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at Applicants can also call the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email

Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can call (800) 877-8339.

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