Big Island businesses eligible for disaster loans

HONOLULU – The U.S. Small Business Administration says small businesses in Hawaii County may apply for low-interest federal disaster loans because of Tropical Storm Iselle.

The agency said Thursday the loans will offset economic losses suffered because of wind, rain, and flooding on Aug. 7.

Businesses may apply for up to $2 million in loans to meet financial obligations and operating expenses.

Those eligible include small, nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and small businesses engaged in aquaculture. Most private, nonprofit organizations are also eligible.

The loans carry an interest rate of 4 percent for businesses and 2.625 percent for private, nonprofit organizations.

The agency makes Economic Injury Disaster Loans available when the U.S. agriculture secretary declares an agricultural disaster. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack declared a disaster at Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s request.