SBA disaster loan deadline approaching

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering disaster loans to small businesses in the state of Alabama and 17 Georgia counties that sustained damage to crops during the state's recent drought.

Small businesses in Muscogee, Harris, Chattahoochee, Quitman, Stewart, Troup and other counties have until March 3 to apply for the federal loans.

The SBA's economic injury disaster loan program is available to farm-related and nonfarm-related, small business concerns and small agricultural cooperatives that suffered damages and losses due to the drought that occurred on January 1, 2007 and on. Farmers and ranchers are not eligible to apply.

Eligible small businesses may receive loans for up to $1 million. They are available at a 4 percent interest rate with terms up to 30 years.

For more information, contact the SBA's customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 weekdays 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. EST. Business owners can also download applications at www.sba.gov and send them to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.