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Governor Cuomo Announces Loans of Up to $2 Million are Available to Support Small Businesses Affected by the Drought

Loans Are Available In Western New York, Finger Lakes, Central New York and Southern Tier Following Federal Disaster Declaration

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that at his request, the U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is now offering assistance to eligible small businesses and other entities affected by this summer’s drought in the Western New York, Finger Lakes, Central New York and Southern Tier regions. Loan amounts of up to $2 million are being offered to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and private non-profit organizations that suffered financial losses as a direct result of the drought. The Governor has also directed New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to work closely with Cornell University expert hydrologists and climate professors to help understand and study the outlook for recovery.

“The ripple effects of the summer drought are being felt by every part of the agricultural industry in these affected regions and I thank our federal partners for hearing our request and making available these resources to help small businesses get back on their feet,”said Governor Cuomo. “We will continue to work hard to ensure these businesses, farmers and communities fully recover from the challenges brought on by these extreme weather conditions.”

Small businesses in the following counties are currently eligible for loans through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program: Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Niagara, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates.

The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 4 percent for small businesses, with terms up to 30 years. The Small Business Administration determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the Administration and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. These working capital 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.

U.S. Small Business Administration Field Operations Center Director Frank Skaggs said,“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.”

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “This summer’s extremely dry weather has taken a toll on nearly every aspect of the agricultural industry in New York. When farmers are struggling and crop yields are low, agriculture-related businesses also take a hit. These loans can help keep small businesses going during this difficult time and I encourage eligible entities to take advantage of this assistance.”

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said,“Small businesses are vital to the strength of our economy, accounting for 98 percent of businesses and millions of jobs in New York State, and have been key contributors to the significant drop in unemployment over the past five years. We owe it to them to offer our support when they are negatively impacted by disasters, like this drought, and I applaud the efforts of Governor Cuomo and the SBA to get them the help they need.”

Three weeks ago, Governor Cuomo announced that 24 counties across Upstate New York had been designated as a natural disaster area and since then, two additional counties have been added for a total of 26 counties. There are also additional requests currently being reviewed by the federal Farm Service Agency for counties seeking disaster declaration. These designations mean that farmers in those areas may be eligible for assistance, including emergency loans, from the Farm Service Agency.

Applicants for Economic Injury Disaster Loans may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via Small Business Administration’s secure website at

Disaster loan information and application forms may 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 Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Compliments of Governor Cuomo