Small businesses in Kaua‘i County that have lost revenue because of drought can get some help from the federal government.
Low-interest disaster loans are available through the U.S. Small Business Administration for small, non-farm businesses to offset economic losses caused by drought since Aug. 9. The loans are intended to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the drought disaster not occurred. They carry a 3.04% interest rate for businesses and 1.875% for private nonprofit organizations, with a maximum term of 30 years.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million are available to qualifying small, non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size. Businesses directly impacted by the disaster and those that have been impacted because they depend on farmers and ranchers who suffered agricultural production losses because of the drought are eligible to apply.
“Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage,” Tanya Garfield, director of the Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations – West, said in a press release.
Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for Small Business Administration disaster assistance; however, nurseries are eligible. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Service Agency about assistance.
The Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency encourages qualifying businesses that need assistance to apply before the deadline of April 17, 2023.