Assistance for Agricultural Producers and Nonprofits
Farm Service Agency Disaster Assistance Programs
Agricultural producers who have sustained losses from recent weather may be eligible to apply for assistance through their local Farm Service Agency office. Visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency website and select the State Offices link at the top of the page for more information.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 44 counties in Iowa as primary natural disaster areas due to damage and losses caused by a recent drought.
Those counties are: Adair, Audubon, Boone, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Clarke, Crawford, Dallas, Des Moines, Greene, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hardin, Henry, Howard, Ida, Iowa, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Keokuk, Lee, Louisa, Lucas, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Muscatine, Pocahontas, Polk, Poweshiek, Sac, Shelby, Story, Tama, Union, Wapello, Warren, Washington and Webster.
Farmers and ranchers in the following counties also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous (next to) a primary county: Adams, Appanoose, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Butler, Cass, Cedar, Cherokee, Clay, Davis, Decatur, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Grundy, Harrison, Humboldt, Kossuth, Linn, Mitchell, Monona, O'Brien, Palo Alto, Pottawattamie, Ringgold, Scott, Taylor, Van Buren, Wayne, Winneshiek, Woodbury and Wright.
All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Dec. 11, 2013, making all qualified farm operaters in the designated areas eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses.
Federal Individual Assistance Program
The federal Individual Assistance Program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is activated when a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance is made. Generally, those in affected counties have 60 days from the date the declaration is made to apply for assistance with FEMA.
Individual Assistance is made available to homeowners, renters and businesses and can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or other aid programs. Individuals may also be eligible for other needs assistance including medical and dental expenses and replacement of essential personal property such as furniture, clothing and some appliances. Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) may also be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance. Grants do not have to be repaid, but loans from the SBA must be repaid.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) may provide low-interest federal loans to private nonprofit organizations (PNPs) that provide essential services of a governmental nature after a disaster. Interested PNPs begin the process by first registering with FEMA. FEMA determines if the PNPs qualify for a grant under FEMA's Public Assistance program, or if they will be referred to the SBA to apply for a low-interest federal disaster loan.
The SBA may lend PNPs up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. The SBA may also lend additional funds that help with the cost of making improvements that protect, prevent, or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.
For certain PNPs, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by disaster. EIDLs may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster's impact. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the nonprofit suffered any property damage.
At this time, private nonprofit organizations in the following counties may apply for assistance by first registering with FEMA (as a result of severe weather from June 21-28, 2013): Allamakee, Audubon, Benton, Buchanan, Butler, Cedar, Clayton, Delaware, Grundy, Howard, Jones and Winneshiek. The deadline to return property damage applications was Sept. 30, 2013.
The deadline to return economic injury applications is May 1, 2014.
To begin the process, register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-3362 (TTY 1-800-462-7585) or visit DisasterAssistance.gov.
Small, nonfarm businesses in 16 Iowa counties (and neighboring counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin) are now eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster doans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Primary Iowa counties: Allamakee, Cerro Gordo and Floyd.
Contiguous Iowa counties: Bremer, Butler, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Franklin, Hancock, Howard, Mitchell, Winnebago, Winneshiek, Worth and Wright.
“These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by excessive rainfall that occurred April 1 - Aug. 5, 2013, in the following primary counties,” announced Alfred E. Judd, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West. “SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster.”
Small, nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.
By law, SBA makes EIDLs available when the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. Secretary Tom Vilsack declared this disaster at the request of Gov. Terry Branstad.
Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website.
Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling 1-800-659-2955 (TTY 1-800-877-8339) or e-mailing SBA. For more information about SBA’s disaster assistance programs, visit the SBA website.
The deadline to apply for these loans is July 28, 2014.