If Your Business Depended On Snow… Help Is Here

Wisconsin businesses may be eligible for federal disaster loans if they have suffered losses due to the unusually mild winter.

The National Weather Service reports snowfall statewide has been 20 to 30 inches below normal this winter. In the Lake Superior snowbelt, generally across Ashland, Iron, and Vilas counties, snowfall was 40 to 70 inches below normal.

The U.S. Small Business Administration says they will consider loss from recent low snowfalls to be drought-related and eligible for assistance.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes says the lack of snow has impacted travel and recreation businesses that rely on downhill and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

USDA’s disaster designation for drought already covers many Wisconsin counties. This new designation allows businesses in 65 counties identified as drought disaster areas to be eligible for emergency loans to offset their business losses in those counties if their business loss is related to the drought.

Impacted businesses in counties with a drought declaration can apply for the U.S. SBA Economic Impact Disaster Loans. The loans aim to help businesses get through emergencies that have impacted their economic well-being. Under the EIDL program, businesses can borrow up to $2 million to cover their losses. Businesses pay no interest on the loan for the first year and a maximum rate of 4 percent for the rest of the loan period.

The deadline to apply for all counties but one is July 31. Buffalo County’s deadline is April 29.

To take advantage of the program, businesses must apply by the application deadline for their county. Find more information on how to apply: https://lending.sba.gov