PLATTSBURGH The North Country Small Business Development Center is offering assistance to those applying for federal economic injury disaster loans. The U.S. Small Business Administration recently announced loans are available to small businesses in the North Country for two weather related events that occurred during the summer: excessive rain that occurred June 20 through July 31 in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton and St. Lawrence counties and a severe storm that produced hail and occurred Aug. 3 in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties. SBAs Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to farm-related and non-farm-related small business concerns and small agricultural cooperatives that suffered financial losses as a direct result of these disasters. Farmers and ranchers are not eligible to apply to SBA. Eligible small businesses may qualify for loans up to $1.5 million. These loans are available at a four percent interest rate with loan terms up to 30 years. SBA determines eligibility for the program based on the size and type of business and its financial resources. The loan amounts and terms are also set by SBA and are based upon each applicants financial condition. However, under the disaster declaration, SBA cannot provide loans to agricultural producers. To learn more about these loans, business owners may contact SBAs customer service center by calling 1-800-659-2955 or 1-800-877-8339 for the hearing-impaired. Loan applications can be downloaded from www.sba.gov and must be completed and returned to SBA no later than June 30, 2008. Local victims of the storms who need help navigating the loan process and completing applications can contact the North Country Small Business Development Center, 194 U.S. Oval, by calling regional director Delena Clark at 564-2042 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org . The North Country SBDC is part of a statewide program funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the State University of New York. To learn more, visit the North Country SBDC online at www.plattsburgh.edu/offices/support/sbdc .