Lack Of Snow Sparks Disaster Loans

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. The lack of snow has impacted travel and recreation businesses that rely on downhill and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

“The lack of snow we’ve experienced so far this winter has had serious economic impacts on folks and businesses, especially in our Northern counties, who rely on snow and winter weather to attract customers and be successful,” says Gov. Tony Evers. “I encourage all eligible businesses to apply for these loans as soon as possible, and in the meantime, I encourage Wisconsinites to plan a trip, visit local businesses, and find other exciting ways to enjoy winter in Wisconsin in our beautiful Northern and Central communities.”

USDA’s disaster designation for drought already covers many Wisconsin counties. This designation allows businesses in 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.

To take advantage of the program, businesses must apply by the application deadline for their county. Find more information on if you qualify and how to apply: