Disaster Loans Available For Non-Farming Businesses - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Disaster Loans Available For Non-Farming Businesses

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BELGRADE -

Small businesses affected by last month's hail storm, which took out $44 million worth of crops, are now able to get loans to help offset losses.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture declared the hail and wind storm that went through western Gallatin County August 1, a disaster.

The storm took out complete fields, leaving nothing to harvest in many of them.

The first businesses hit are the grain elevators.

"Not handling grain is not good," said Matt Franks, manager of Columbia Grain.  "I mean that's our business. That's what we do. When we don't have the grain to handle, that is a lot sitting around."

Wednesday, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced, because of the disaster declaration, non-farming businesses in Carbon, Gallatin, Meagher, Park, Stillwater and Sweet Grass counties are eligible for low interest loans from the S.B.A.

S.B.A. Spokesman Mark Randle said these loans are to help businesses like Columbia Grain with everyday expenses.

"Businesses, had this disaster not occur, would've been able to pay for their normal ongoing overhead needs in the way of payroll, fixed debt payments, lease payments, those type of things," said Randle.

Structural or equipment damage isn't covered by the loans.

Randle said if you believe your small business is affected by the disaster, you shouldn't waste time applying for the loan.

"We urge them not to wait, if you think you are going to impacted to apply right away and then we can give them an answer if we can get them a loan or not," said Randle.

Any small, non-farm business and agricultural cooperatives can apply for a loan with four percent interest rate.

Any private non-profits can apply for a 2.9% interest loan.

Businesses have until April 28, 2014 to apply for the loans.

Farmers and ranchers should contact the Farm Services Agency or the U.S.D.A.

You can apply for loans online or by calling 800-659-2955.

https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

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