Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, on Monday announced the availability of several federal drought assistance programs for farmers and small businesses in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
Secretary Tom Vilsack declared a drought disaster in 27 California counties, including San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura, earlier this month, triggering the availability of these resources.
“These federal resources will go a long way toward helping Central Coast farmers and small businesses cope with the impacts of the ongoing drought,” Capps said. “I encourage anyone who is interested in these programs to contact my office for additional information or assistance. Moving forward, I will be working with federal, state, and local officials as well as my colleagues in Congress to ensure our local farmers, small businesses, and communities have the resources they need.”
Farmers and ranchers in the Tri-County area may be eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency. The FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits. The FSA also has a variety of other assistance programs for farmers and ranchers, including the Emergency Conservation Program, Federal Crop Insurance, and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.
Interested farmers may contact their local FSA Service Center (see below) for additional information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online by clicking here.
Small businesses can apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. These loans are designed to offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the drought. 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 that could have been met had the disaster not occurred. Applicants may apply online using the SBA website by clicking here.
Local FSA Service Centers: San Luis Obispo County, 65 S. Main St., Suite 106, Templeton, CA 93465-8703, 805.434.0396; and Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties, 920 E. Stowell Road, Santa Maria, CA 93454-7008, 805.928.9269.
— C.J. Young is a press assistant for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.