SACRAMENTO,Ca. — Small, non-farm businesses in all 77 Oklahoma counties (plus contiguous counties in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico and Texas) may now apply for low interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These disaster loans offset economic losses caused by agriculture production losses caused by drought, high temperatures, high winds and fire in Oklahoma beginning July 1, 2005, announced Alfred E. Judd, director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center - West.

Small businesses may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $1.5 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred. “Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 4 percent, a maximum term of 30 years, and are restricted to small businesses without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship,” Judd said.

By law, SBA makes EIDLs available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. Secretary Mike Johanns declared these disasters at the request of Governor Brad Henry.

For more information and application forms call toll-free (800)659-2955, or visit SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Hearing impaired individuals may call (800)877-8339. Mail completed applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration at 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The deadline to apply for these loans is Oct. 30, 2006.

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