Small Business Administration to help Nevada counties

RENO, Nev. - Low-interest loans will be made available to small businesses in Reno and eight rural Nevada counties where farmers and ranchers have been hit hard by drought and wildfires.

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced the loan program Thursday for eligible businesses that would find it a hardship to obtain conventional loans. The loans of up to $1.5 million carry an interest rate of 4 percent.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loans are to be used ''to help meet financial operations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,'' said Alfred E. Judd, disaster area director for the Small Business Administration in Sacramento, Calif.

Washoe, Churchill, Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Nye, Pershing and White Pine counties are included in Nevada, along with Harney and Malheur counties of Oregon and Cassia, Owyhee and Twin Falls counties in Idaho.

The counties outside Nevada are included because they border the disaster counties, Judd said.

The agency's loans were triggered by Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman's recent declaration of a disaster in several Nevada counties.

Farmers and ranchers are eligible for disaster assistance under the declaration through the USDA's Farm Service Agency.

The SBA loans ''are designed to help the Main Street businesses or those businesses that are dependent on farming or ranching revenue,'' said Rick Jenkins, a spokesman for the SBA's Sacramento office.

''If a farmer's crops don't grow or for some reason they can't sell their cattle, they don't have any money to go spend in town,'' he said.

Participation in the loan program varies so widely that it's not possible to predict how many Nevadans will apply, Jenkins said.

''We just never know. We generally have the money available to help anyone who needs the help,'' Jenkins said.

''And it may not be that many. But if you are one of the businesses and we help you, it is a very big deal.''

The loans, for a maximum of 30 years, must cover expenses that occurred since May 1. Applications for economic injury must be returned to the SBA by April 30, 2001.


Information and application forms are available by contacting the SBA at PO Box 13795, Sacramento, Calif., 95853-4795, or by calling 1-800-488-5323


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment