With Missouri’s scorched earth recognized as a disaster area, state agencies ranging from the Governor’s office to the Treasurer’s office to the Missouri Department of Transportation have leapt in to try and help struggling farmers. The United States Small Business Administration has joined in on the action, too, with loans and more available for farmers and other small businesses in Missouri and other drought-stricken states.
As SBA Administrator Karen Mills explains in her blog post, the administration has set up Economic Injury Disaster Loans, giving farmers as well as non-farm businesses impacted by the drought a chance to receive relief money (up to $2 million, depending on qualifications) at 4 percent interest and a maximum term of 30 years. Mills also mentions public forums hosted by SBA, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce in some of the drought’s most impacted places. Additionally, the SBA is bringing information tables to state fairs in drought-stricken states, though calls to the SBA and the Missouri State Fair could not confirm their presence at the fair, which is taking place in Sedalia through August 19.
Mills also outlines plans by the National Credit Union Administration to allow more than 1,000 extra credit unions nationwide to opt into being designated as low-income credit unions, including some in Missouri. With the designation Mill says the credit unions can extend more help to farmers, but the removal of the legislated cap on lending under LICU status has met with sharp criticism in some industry circles.
If you’d like to apply for your business to receive an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan, you can apply online.