How to apply for Small Business Administration loans available to some Michiganders

Some businesses in counties affected by drought in 2021 have federal assistance available
(source: National Weather Service)
Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 2:47 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The idea of a drought in a state surrounded by the largest source of freshwater in the world may seem odd, but water-dependent businesses and nonprofit organizations in parts of Michigan experienced it last summer.

Now, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) are available in Michigan to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations due to the drought that began on May 5, 2021.

Background: Drought already affecting Michigan farmers

The declaration is not for all of Michigan, though it does cover parts of Mid-Michigan. The primary counties covered are Allegan, Antrim, Baraga, Gogebic, Grand Traverse, Houghton, Iron, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Ontonagon and Otsego in Michigan, as well as the contiguous counties of Barry, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Crawford, Dickinson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Keweenaw, Manistee, Marquette, Missaukee, Montmorency, Oscoda, Ottawa, Roscommon, Van Buren and Wexford in Michigan.

In Wisconsin the counties of Florence, Forest, Iron and Vilas are covered under the same program.

“When the Secretary of Agriculture issues a disaster declaration to help farmers recover from damages and losses to crops, the Small Business Administration issues a declaration to eligible entities, affected by the same disaster,” said Kem Fleming, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East.

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The loan program is available to eligible farm-related and non-farm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of the drought. Apart from aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, and ranchers, though nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by drought conditions.

The loan amount is capped at $2 million, with interest rates of 2.88 percent for small businesses and 2 percent for private nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills affected by the drought.

The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

Applicants may apply online using this link, and should apply under SBA declaration # 17317, not for the COVID-19 incident. Additional information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to

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