WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Steve Pearce, Ben Ray Luján, and Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that small businesses in several New Mexico counties will be eligible for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) due to the ongoing drought.
The loans are designed to offset economic losses from reduced revenues caused by drought. Eligible counties are Catron, Cibola, Grant, Hidalgo, McKinley, San Juan, Curry, Lea, Quay, Roosevelt, Union, Colfax, Harding, Mora, Taos, Chaves, DeBaca, Guadalupe, and San Miguel. Nonfarm businesses that depend on farms and ranches that have suffered agricultural production losses due to drought and businesses directly impacted by the drought will be eligible for the loans.
“Small businesses are the engines of New Mexico’s economy but the ongoing drought has put strain on local agriculture, which many small businesses depend on. These loans will help offset those losses so small business owners can focus on what they do best — driving their local economies and strengthening their communities,” the delegation said in a joint statement. “The drought has had a ripple effect in our state, but we will continue working to ensure our farmers, ranchers, and business owners are getting the support from the federal government that they need to grow and succeed.”
Small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help cover financial obligations and operating expenses that would have been met had the disaster not occurred. On March 8 and 15, 2018, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designated the drought in the Southwest an agricultural disaster, which requires the SBA to make Economic Injury Disaster Loans available to businesses in the affected area.
The deadline to apply for economic injury is Nov. 8, 2018.