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Hawaii’s drought-stricken small businesses may apply for disaster loans

  • COURTESY NOAA/NCEI
                                This updated NOAA map of drought conditions shows that all major islands have been affected to varying degrees by the dry summer and fall.

    COURTESY NOAA/NCEI

    This updated NOAA map of drought conditions shows that all major islands have been affected to varying degrees by the dry summer and fall.

Small businesses in Honolulu affected by the drought that began Sept. 15 may qualify for low-interest, federal disaster loans, according to the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

HI-EMA said today that small, non-farm businesses, agricultural cooperatives, and most private nonprofits of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

“These monies can prove to be an indispensable aid for the struggling small businesses affected by the drought that started in September,” HI-EMA Administrator Luke Meyers said in a news release.

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% for businesses, and 2.75% for private, nonprofit organizations, and a maximum term of 30 years.

By law, the Small Business Administration makes Economic Injury Disaster Loans available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. The secretary declared this disaster on Nov. 6.

To apply online or download an application, visit disasterloanassistance.sba.gov. For more information, call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

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

The deadline to apply is July 6.

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