Small businesses in Dutchess County eligible for disaster relief

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POUGHKEEPSIE – The U.S. Small Business Administration is now offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus.

SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, to declare a disaster following a request received from Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont on March 15.

The disaster declaration made SBA assistance available in Connecticut, as well as the contiguous counties of Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester in New York.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist small businesses with federal disaster loans. We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of the Coronavirus,” said Administrator Carranza.

“Our small businesses are the lifeblood of our community,” said Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro. “This first wave of assistance from the federal government is essential to provide some stability to our businesses and not-for-profits struggling with cash flow.”

SBA customer service representatives will be available to answer questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and explain the application process.

“Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus since January 31, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said Carranza.

The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact.

Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce President Frank Castella, Jr. said, “Access to EIDL funds will help businesses cover basic essentials, such as payroll and fixed costs, in the short term and will bring much needed certainty and stability at a time when it’s needed most. The chamber and Mid-Hudson Small Business Development Center are here to assist organizations with navigating this program and gaining access to low interest capital. We remain hopeful consumer confidence and demand will be steady supportive drivers for local businesses and nonprofit organizations — as this is essential, now more than ever, in moving the economy forward.”

Eligibility for the loans is based on the financial impact of theCOVID-19. The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is December 16.