Kelly Bullis: Great news about the ‘Great Drought of 2013’

We should be so thankful that the federal government is so fast at responding to our every need!

It is so good that I recently learned from it some news that somehow had mostly escaped our normal media outlets. Did you know that there was a major federal disaster-level drought in the Storey County area from May 20 to July 14? I didn’t! Silly me!

The SBA (Small Business Administration) has announced it is ready to make low-interest (4 percent) federal disaster loans of up to $2 million each to offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by this “drought.”

Our government is so generous. It has decided to include the additional counties of Carson City, Lyon and Washoe.

Now, I have noticed the Carson River seems a bit lower than normal this year, but a federal disaster-level drought? I have rancher folks I asked about this who say they have had to pump more water for their alfalfa fields than usual, or paid a little bit more for feed, but they have not seriously been affected to the point they feel the need to borrow money.

But wait, there’s more! (Sounds like one of those infomercials doesn’t it?) Only “small, nonfarm business” qualify. Did I miss something? Seems to me, businesses that need water are usually agricultural related. The SBA notice says those “farm-related” businesses must apply for loans (which have always been available whether a drought or not) through the FSA (Farm Service Agency) to get loans directly from the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).

The SBA loans are only for “ ... economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster.” (So says Alfred E. Judd, director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center — West in Sacramento.)

I have tried to figure out why Storey County was so negatively affected by this “drought.” There really isn’t any major agriculture in Storey County. It’s mostly known for its mining and ... hmmm, I wonder if Mr. Judd received some requests from certain “ranches” in Storey County asking for help due to a significant drop in business during this time period? Didn’t I hear that the Mustang Ranch got taken over by the federal government at one time? I wonder if there’s a connection. Nah!

So, if you feel you are a business that can prove it has been economically affected by the disastrous drought (only for the period of May 20 to July 14), you can apply at You also can call 800-659-2955 for more information.

Come on, folks. Gather around and join in on the “warm and fuzzy” feelings toward our wonderful government that cares so much for us. I am humbled to be reminded how good we have it to be such beneficiaries of SBA’s caring attentiveness. Did you hear? “The best thing about a heat wave is constantly having the illusion you’re getting exercise.”

Kelly Bullis is a certified public accountant in Carson City. Contact him at 775-882-4459. He’s on the web at


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