Federal Loans Offered in 25 Iowa Counties for Drought/Flood Relief

(Radio Iowa) Iowa has been vexed by too much water — or not enough — this year, leading to natural disasters in multiple counties due to flooding and for drought. The federal government is now offering low-interest loans to help Iowa businesses and non-profits recover. Kevin Wynne, spokesman for the U.S. Small Business Administration, says they’re working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to aid non-profits in seven eastern Iowa counties that were hit by Mississippi River flooding between April 24th and May 13th, which prompted a federal disaster declaration.

“They may be eligible for a FEMA Disaster Assistance Grant,” Wynne says, “so they’ll go to what’s called an applicant briefing and then they’ll come back to SBA if FEMA determines that they are not a critical service, meaning that they’re not a food kitchen or something along those lines, or a hospital or some kind of public infrastructure that supports a community.” The low-interest federal disaster loans are now available in Allamakee, Clayton, Des Moines, Dubuque, Jackson, Lee and Scott counties.

“The loans can go up to $2 million to meet the financial obligations and operating expenses and it’s got about a one-year deferral on these as well,” Wynne says. “Low-interest rate of 2.375% for the private nonprofits, and of course the businesses have it at 4%. Terms up to 30 years, make recovery very affordable for these loans.” The SBA loans can be used to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other assets. They can also be used to pay for improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from happening again.

“These loans are for economic injury only,” Wynne says. “That means that they didn’t suffer any physical damage but they’re starting to see a decrease in revenues due to the fact that there was a declared disaster in those counties.” The SBA is also offering low-interest loans to small, non-farm businesses in 18 Iowa counties that are being worst-hit by drought.

“Businesses in farming towns are going to start seeing a decrease in revenue because farmers are unable to have any disposable income to go and shop in those cities and small towns,” Wynne says. “That’s why we offer these low-interest Disaster Assistance loans to these counties that were economically impacted by the drought.” The counties covered under this program are: Cedar, Clarke, Decatur, Jasper, Johnson, Louisa, Lucas, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Monroe, Muscatine, Polk, Ringgold, Scott, Union, Warren, and Wayne.

“Those loans are also up to $2 million,” Wynne says. “They have to be used to do any kind of keeping the business afloat such as making payroll, making your rental expenses, keeping the lights on and getting your notes payable paid, just so that they can keep the operating expenses of the economically-impacted business through the disaster recovery periods.” For information on any of the loans, call 800-659-2955 or visit sba.gov and follow the “Disaster” link.

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