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## Financial Assistance Available for Small Businesses Affected by Recent Drought

Seed stores, farm or ranch equipment and repair shops, and restaurants in 57 Missouri counties, including Franklin, St. Louis, St. Charles, Washington, and Jefferson, are eligible for low-interest federal loans to help mitigate revenue loss caused by the recent drought that has negatively impacted the farming economy. Additionally, small nonfarm businesses, agricultural cooperatives, aquaculture, and private nonprofits in these areas can apply for economic injury disaster loans of up to $2 million, with neighboring counties in Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas also qualifying for assistance.

### How AI legalese decoder Can Help

The AI legalese decoder can assist small businesses in navigating the complex application process for economic injury disaster loans by simplifying legal terms and providing clear guidance on eligibility criteria and required documentation. By leveraging this tool, business owners can ensure that they meet all requirements and increase their chances of receiving financial assistance to help them recover from the drought’s economic impacts.

The working capital loans offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration can be used to cover outstanding debts, bills, and payroll expenses, providing much-needed relief for businesses experiencing a downturn in revenue. The 30-year maximum loan term and low-interest rates of 4% for businesses and 3.25% for nonprofits aim to alleviate financial strain and support recovery efforts.

In response to the agricultural disaster declaration by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture on March 25, the SBA has made these disaster loans available to eligible businesses, recognizing the importance of providing financial aid to mitigate the adverse effects of the drought. Interest on the loans does not accrue until one year after disbursement, with repayment starting 12 months from the first disbursement.

Francisco S├ínchez Jr., the associate administrator for the SBA’s Office of Disaster Recovery and Resilience, emphasized the significance of these loans in helping small businesses and private nonprofits weather the financial challenges posed by the drought. By evaluating current debts, cash flow, business credit reports, and tax records, the SBA aims to tailor loan amounts to each applicant’s financial capacity, ensuring that repayment remains manageable.

### Continuing Support and Assistance

Small business owners who have experienced agricultural production losses due to the drought are encouraged to apply for financial assistance through the SBA’s economic injury disaster loan program. With parts of Missouri and the Midwest facing ongoing dry conditions and drought, the SBA stands ready to increase loan amounts if necessary to support affected businesses.

As Garth MacDonald, a U.S. Small Business Administration public information officer, highlighted, these low-interest federal loans are a tangible demonstration of community support during challenging times. By leveraging the resources and assistance provided by the SBA, small businesses can access the financial help needed to navigate and recover from the economic impacts of the recent drought.

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