ATLANTA – Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture or private nonprofit organizations in Florida having suffered financial losses as the result of excessive rain; flooding and the water released from Lake Okeechobee that occurred on Jan. 3-29, 2016, should consider applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
SBA’s working capital loans are available after a disaster declaration by the Secretary of Agriculture making the following Florida counties eligible for assistance: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk, Saint Lucie and Sarasota.
These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits. Eligible industries include but are not limited to the following: fishing guides, commercial fisherman, charter boats, crabbers, bait and tackle shops, restaurants, retailers, wholesalers, farm implement dealers, and feed and seed stores.