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Hays County Reminds Businesses of Drought Disaster Assistance

Photo Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture
Severe drought conditions throughout Texas have made federally-subsidized loans available to small businesses.

Hays County officials sent out a quick reminder to his week to help raise awareness of U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans.

The SBA announced in June that small, non-farm businesses in all 254 Texas counties are eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans to help cover financial losses caused by the drought. But the Hays County Commissioners Court worried local businesses didn't know they could apply for the help.

The loans come with low, four percent interest rates  in amounts up to $2 million to help bridge reduced revenues caused by drought, high heat, high winds and wildfires. Private non-profit organizations are eligible for loans with three percent interest rates .

SBA spokesman Ben Raja said the drought is causing hardship indirectly for all kinds of non-farm businesses.

"All those businesses that are impacted by the fact that there is this lack of produce and a lack of business as a result of the disaster itself- those businesses can apply for assistance."

Raja expects the number of loan requests will increase as the deadline approaches and as small businesses feel the financial effect of the drought more.

The deadline to apply for the assistance is Feb. 24, 2012.