- Associated Press - Thursday, July 21, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Small businesses in nine Tennessee counties can now apply for federal disaster loans related to the drought that began in July.

The federal disaster declaration includes businesses, agricultural cooperates and private nonprofit organizations in Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Giles, Grundy, Lincoln, Marion, Marshall and Moore counties.

Loans of up $2 million are available to entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of the drought through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Working capital loans can be used to make fixed-debt payments, meet payroll or cover other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred.

The SBA does not offer disaster loans to agriculture producers, farmers or ranchers, though aquaculture enterprises and nurseries are eligible.

Applications can be downloaded or filed electronically through the SBA’s website at https://www.sba.gov/disaster .

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