Small Business Administration announces disaster assistance program

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Tropical Storm Iselle did significant damage to crops for many Big Island farmers, but even more relief may soon be in sight.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono praised the U.S. Agriculture Department's Farm Service Agency's storm disaster declaration, but urged affected non-farm Big Island businesses to consider SBA loans. The Small Business Administration has announced its own federal emergency assistance program in the wake of Iselle. The SBA loans were automatically triggered by the USDA disaster declaration.

Clarification: Diane Ley, the agency's state executive director, said the September deadlines on their website refer to an earlier disaster declaration triggered by the drought. For the new Iselle declaration, farmers do indeed have eight months to apply, and the agency has several loan programs that are always in force and may be worth checking out.

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