Businesses and non-profits hit by summer drought in Washington and nearby counties eligible for SBA loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has said federal Economic injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) are available for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations with economic losses in certain counties due to the drought conditions that began on August 29, 2023.

The declaration includes Jefferson and Berkeley counties in West Virginia, Washington County and the Virginia counties of Frederick, Loudoun and Clarke.

“Working capital loans from the SBA are essential to eligible small businesses when the Secretary of Agriculture declares a disaster due to farmers’ crop losses,” said Francisco Sanchez, Jr., associate administrator of SBA ’s Office of Disaster Recovery & Resilience.

“These loans help sustain rural economies when a disaster occurs.”

Under this declaration, the SBA ’ s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program is available to eligible farm-related and non-farm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. Apart from aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide

disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, and ranchers.

The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of four percent for small businesses and 2.375% for private nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years.

The SBA sets loan amounts and terms based on each applicant’s financial condition. Interest does not accrue, and payments are not due until 12 months from the date of the first loan disbursement.

Eligibility is based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (if you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services), or sending an email to [email protected]

Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at

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

Nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by drought conditions.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure and should apply under SBA declaration #20043.

Submit completed loan applications to the SBA no later than June 24, 2024.