University's Small Business Administration aid drought-stricken businesses

Even with last weekend’s downpour‚ there’s no end in sight for Georgia’s…

Georgia (Dec 17, 2007) — University's Small Business Administration aid drought-stricken businesses

Jeremy Craig


KSU's Small Business Development Center hosts seminar on SBA disaster loans

KENNESAW‚ Ga. (Dec. 17‚ 2007) — Even with last weekend’s downpour‚ there’s no end in sight for Georgia’s severe drought. Worse‚ the drought is parching the income stream of many small businesses — hurting owners and employees of nurseries‚ landscapers‚ marina−oriented shops and car washes‚ among other businesses.

To help keep these firms afloat‚ Kennesaw State University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on Monday hosted a seminar about disaster assistance loans. The loans can provide up to $1.5 million in aid‚ depending upon the applicant’s circumstance.

More than 50 concerned small business owners — including owners of nurseries‚ landscaping companies and construction companies — attended Monday’s seminar‚ where SBA and SBDC officials shared information about potential aid to their firms.

Lydia C. Jones‚ director of the SBDC at KSU‚ said the drought’s effects on small businesses locally made it imperative to share information about the SBA program to business owners.

“With the severe drought‚ numerous small businesses have been calling us for help‚ including people who have owned businesses for more than 30 years‚” said Jones‚ whose center is housed in KSU's Michael J. Coles College of Business.

For instance‚ the Georgia Urban Agriculture Coalition estimates that the landscaping and horticulture industries have incurred losses of at least $1.2 billion. Many firms in these industries are small businesses.

“All of your businesses have been hurt by this disaster‚” said Jack Camp‚ a communication specialist with the Atlanta SBA office. “We have a stake in America’s small businesses‚ and we want to help you succeed.”

The SBA offers economic−injury disaster loans‚ available to small businesses unable to pay bills or meet operating expenses because of the drought‚ Camp explained.

Loans are issued at a subsidized 4 percent interest rate‚ with terms of up to 30 years. While the loans cannot be used to expand with fixed assets or restructure most debt‚ the loans can help pay ordinary operating expenses‚ Camp said.

The deadline for submitting loan applications to the SBA is March 27‚ 2008.

Jones added that KSU’s Small Business Development Center can assist small businesses with information needed to apply for the SBA loans‚ free of charge‚ including providing assistance with projections of balance sheets‚ income and cash flow statements.

KSU’s SBDC works with new and existing small businesses‚ providing consulting services‚ business resources and education on topics such as marketing‚ taxes‚ business plans and legal issues. The SBDC at KSU is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the University of Georgia.

Small business owners wishing to apply for an economic−injury disaster loan should call the SBA toll−free at 800−659−2955‚ or visit

For more information about the services of the Small Business Development Center at Kennesaw State University‚ call 770−423−6450 or visit
Media representatives with questions about the loan program should contact Jack Camp at 404−331−0333 or

Media with questions about KSU’s Small Business Development Center should contact Jeremy Craig at 770−499−3448 or


A member of the 35−unit University System of Georgia‚ Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population of more than 20‚000 from 132 countries. The third−largest university in Georgia‚ Kennesaw State offers more than 60 graduate and undergraduate degrees‚ including a new doctorate in education.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit