Borderland Businesses in Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas Eligible for Government Loans
Several small non-agricultural establishments in the Paso del Norte borderland are eligible of loans through the U.S. Business Administration, due to droughts extending across the region. The SBA included the New Mexico county of Doña Ana and the Texas counties of Hudspeth and El Paso as some of the twenty-six provinces eligible for long-term, low-interest business loans in Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
"SBA eligibility covers both the 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," said Tanya N. Garfield, acting director of SBA's Disaster Field Operations Center-West.
The "Economic Injury Disaster" Loans were made available after Jan. 15 of this year, when U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack declared the drought-related disaster. Qualified bordertowns can access loans that carry the interest rate of 2.875 percent for private, non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses; payable over a maximum of 30 years. Companies without the financial ability to "offset the adverse impact without hardship" fit the requirements, and can request up to $2 million by the deadline, Sept. 15, 2014.
SBA has stated, however, that requirements that are "primarily engaged in farming or ranching" are ineligible for disaster relief loans. The drought, which began on Oct. 1, has caused farmers and ranchers loss in crops and productions, but loans are offered "based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage." The Farm Services Agency offers information regarding other forms of assistance that's available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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